[photopress:green_property_conference.jpg,full,alignright]In the recently-concluded Boao Forum for Asia, some of the major players discussed the green agenda for China’s real estate industry. Pan Shiyi, mentioned yesterday, is the Chairman of SOHO China, a Beijing-based property developer. He spoke very openly. Perhaps in a way that one would not expect from, say, an American developer showing, once again, that there are substantial cultural differences between countries.
Pan Shiyi said, ‘According to my understanding, the so-called “green real estate industry” refers to an ideal process of sustainable development. I think the most important thing to achieve this aspiration is scientific city planning, along with reasonable architectural design and the adoption of low-energy-consuming materials and equipment throughout the construction process.
When asked about whether the rising costs will hinder real estate developers in building energy-efficient buildings, Pan Shiying said:
‘Certainly it will. Businessmen will definitely be concerned about costs. So there needs to be a mechanism that disperses the rising costs among customers/real estate developers and the government. I think it will help the industry to pursue greener development.’
Ma Yansong, the founder of the MAD Architectural office said his office has designed many models, keeping the idea of energy efficiency in mind. However, though few of them have had the chance to be put into practice, he believes that, aside from the appliance of technology, the overall idea of pursuing a greener development in architecture is essential.
Ma Yansong said, ‘I think the green idea in real estate cannot be limited to a single building. It refers to the overall process of urban planning, including the design density and building activity in any given city. I know it takes time, so I worry whether there will immediately be any developer willing to start building an ideal green building. If there is, it will, I believe, offer a good model for the whole society to adopt green ideas.’
Good sensible stuff and an open and frank expression of views. It shows that going green is not just a matter of making a statement. There is a considerable investment involved as well and real estate developers in China are quite open about asking who is going to foot the quite substantial bill.