Webinar #4 of HOPE Project

von Vu Thi Thu Phuong

Health governance to promote comprehensive life cycle assessment of materials in regard of sustainable construction in Vietnam

On 28th September, Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation successfully organized the 4th webinar of the HOPE project in collaboration with the Hanoi University of Civil Engineering (HUCE) with technical support from Hamburg University, Germany.

The moderator Dr. Thuy Nguyen who works as a Research Associate at the Department of Geography at Hamburg University welcomed all participants before Dr. Nguyen Tien Dung, Director of International Cooperation Department at HUCE gave opening remarks, thanking all speakers for sharing their insights. Following him, Mrs. Vu Thi Thu Phuong, Program Manager at Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation Vietnam gave a short introduction into the current challenges for trash disposal and the importance of innovation for circular economy and Dr. Michael Waibel, HOPE Senior Technical Advisor from Hamburg University, outlined the context of the webinar series, bringing together dimensions of health with urban sustainability.

As a first keynote speaker, we welcomed Mr. Johannes Kreißig, CEO of the German Sustainability Building Council (DGNB), who shared his expertise about Health Governance to promote Comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment of materials in regard of sustainable construction in Vietnam. He proudly described the DGNB system as a global benchmark for sustainability and described the relevance of sustainable construction in the light of the EU Green Deal’s goal to become climate neutral by 2050, reaching zero pollution for a toxic-free environment.

After him, Assoc. Prof. Le Trung Thanh, President of Vietnam Institute for Building Materials from the Ministry of Construction, spoke about policies of comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment of building materials in regard of sustainable construction in Vietnam. He gave some interesting insights into energy consumption related to various building materials and provided the participants with an overview over legal documentation and policies regarding energy and construction that have been passed so far as well as the strategy of development of building materials to 2030 and 2050, aiming for efficient use of natural resources, thoroughly saving energy, raw materials and fuels in addition to minimizing the environmental impact during the mining and processing of minerals used for building and construction materials.

Next, Ms. Phan Thu Hang, Chairperson of Vietnam Green Building Council (VGBC) promoted Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in sustainable construction towards human health, introducing 3 focus areas of the world green building council naming climate action, resource efficiency and health & wellbeing. She then explained LCA as a science based methodology to evaluate the environmental performance of a product throughout all stages of its life cycle, which is framed by two ISO standards. She further introduced Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) as a document that provides quantitative indicators on the various impacts associated with a product, such as its environmental impacts, resource use as well as water and output flows. In the following, she gave examples how developers / consultants, policy makers and manufacturers make use of LCA and EPD.

In the concluding part of the webinar, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Van Tuan, Director of Competence Centre for Sustainable Building in Vietnam (CCSB-VN) from HUCE moderated the panel discussion. As an international expert speaking in behalf of SIAM City Center (Vietnam) Ltd. (INSEE Vietnam), Ecocycle and Sustainability Director Bruno Fux outlined a case study of INSEE Vietnam as the first cement company in Vietnam with EPD. He explained that cement, which is the most used building material worldwide, has tremendous carbon emission in its production industry. On the other hand, it is also key in adapting to climate change, for example for the purposes of sea defense and fire resistance, which stresses the importance of minimizing greenhouse gas emissions in the production. According to Fux, INSEE was the first cement company in Southeast Asia with an Environmental Product Declaration, focusing on green manufacturing, waste management and green portfolio.

In the following, M. Arch Ngyuen Huy Khanh, Former Deputy General Director of Vietnam National Construction Consultant Corporation – JSC (VNCC) spoke about green building materials, giving various insights from his 29 years experience in construction. The event was a full success followed by more than 240 interested online participants who actively made use of the opportunity to ask questions in the chat. Finally, Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Van Tuan brought the webinar to an end by thanking all distinguished speakers for sharing their expertise with the audience. This 4th seminar marked the end of the HOPE series, which was a joint project between Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Vietnam and Hanoi University of Civil Engineering with technical support from Hamburg University (Germany), aiming to bring together the dimension of health with urban sustainability.


Vu Thi Thu Phuong


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