Penang keen to reward green builders

Visitors looking at a model of the River Tropics green condominium project after the launch in Seberang Jaya.

The state is looking for more ways to reward developers who build green buildings, particularly on the mainland.

State Housing Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the move would encourage developers to embrace the Green Building Index (GBI) and other international green ratings.

“If a developer attains a GBI rating of gold and above, the Penang Island City Council will return two-thirds of the development charges to the developer after construction is completed.”

Jagdeep said the refund could amount to several million and be a strong impetus for developers to go green.

“But there is no incentive for buildings on the mainland yet and now we have projects that attain green ratings via other tools besides GBI.

“I’ll be bringing this up at the exco meeting to widen the green incentives for developers,” he said.

Jagdeep announced this at the groundbreaking ceremony of River Tropics in Seberang Jaya recently.

Developed by New Bob Group, it is the first green condominium project on the Penang mainland.

River Tropics received the Green Mark of Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority on top of the GreenRE Gold certification from Real Estate and Housing Developers Association.

“Because there are several green rating tools, I will have discussions with Rehda to consider recognising the tools apart from GBI,” Jagdeep said.

New Bob Group director Dr Lee Ville said River Tropics would adopt all the required green building technologies such as rain harvesting, waste recycling and energy-saving systems.

“It was designed with a lot of passion and appreciation for Mother Nature to minimise the impact on the environment.

“The windows in all 148 units will be positioned to let in maximum natural light and all the paint used will have non-volatile organic compounds.

“Residents will spend less money through electricity and water savings,” Dr Lee said in his speech after launching the project at the sales office beside the site in Taman Semilang.

It is next to a Tesco Extra outlet and near Penang Bridge.

The project consists of 140 standard units and eight duplex units.

The standard units range from 1,300 to 1,500sq ft while duplex units range from 2,300 to 2,700sq ft.

Also present at the launch were Seberang Jaya assemblyman Dr Afif Bahardin, New Bob chairman Datuk Leslie Lee, Rehda Penang chairman Datuk Jerry Chan and Rehda Penang treasurer David Fong. - By The Star

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