Green buildings in Asia: Bigger and better

The green building industry in Asia has enjoyed robust growth and is set to expand further as more building owners join the sustainability movement. To showcase the latest technologies and innovations in this space, Reed Exhibitions has been organising Build Eco Xpo (BEX) Asia, the premier trade show for the region, for several years.

Build Eco Xpo (BEX) Asia, the premier trade show for the green building and construction industry in the region, has brought together thousands of buyers and sellers since it started in 2008. Now, in its eighth year, its organiser Reed Exhibitions is adding a special dimension to the show, by bringing the Mostra Convegno Expocomfort (MCE) to Asia for the first time.

The inaugural MCE Asia 2015 will focus on what the organisers call “global comfort technology” and energy efficiency - the low-hanging fruit for all building owners looking to reduce their costs and enhance their building assets.

The show will hone in on primarily four main themes of cooling, water, and renewable energy and heating. A geo-clone of the renowned MCE event held in Milan, Italy for the past 55 years, it will present the latest technologies and most innovative solutions from across the world in these four sectors.

These themes are particularly important to the green building industry today because of an “increased focus on climate change”, says Michelle Lim, managing director, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, Reed Exhibitions. It is therefore an opportune time to get the regional conversation going about creating sustainable solutions in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry, she adds.

During MCE Asia 2015, many European companies - as pioneers in the research and implementation of green technology - will bring their much-needed expertise to Asia, where many companies are starting to adopt sustainability practices such as installing green technologies in their buildings.

“Given that Europe has some of the top countries investing in green technology research, their experiences and innovations will lend a great amount of help to nations that are starting to look towards adopting green technology,” Lim says.

Michelle Lim of Reed Exhibitions

Countries - developing and developed alike - welcome the exchanging of ideas and solutions in green research and technology, she says.

One example is the series of joint partnerships between Vietnam and Denmark over the past five years, under which they agree to develop their knowledge and technology in climate change, green growth and energy.

A significant project led by both governments was the “Low Carbon transition in Energy Efficiency sector in Vietnam”, a two-pronged approach to encourage green growth in Vietnam by improving the energy efficiency of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and buildings.

Asia’s booming economy is the perfect backdrop for events such as MCE Asia to take place, Lim says. With 55 years of exhibiting in Milan, MCE has established a reputation with companies around the world as the go-to platform for the exchange of knowledge and innovations for the HVAC industry.

“We are confident that MCE Asia will become a similar springboard for Asia to such cross-fertilization of ideas and solutions,” says Lim.

Participants at a seminar at Bex Asia 2014. Image: Reed Exhibitions

Reflecting the growth of the green buildings across the region BEX Asia has grown steadily over the years. In 2014, the show – with the other co-located events – drew almost 10,000 visitors from 43 countries and 400 exhibitors from 35 countries and regions.

This year, Reed Exhibitions is expecting about 11,500 visitors and 550 exhibiting companies for both BEX Asia and MCE Asia.

BEX Asia’s success is largely attributed to two main factors, Lim says. Firstly, the ability to bring together international and local exhibitors across a wide range of countries, which helps facilitate the sharing of global solutions and case studies.

“Countries at the forefront of the green building technology sector, such as Japan and countries in Europe, are able to lend their experiences to countries in the midst of adopting and implementing green technologies,” she adds.

Secondly, a diverse range of talent - ranging from architects, designers, contractors, developers to engineers and consultants - participate in the trade show each year.

Countries at the forefront of the green building technology sector, such as Japan and countries in Europe, are able to lend their experiences to countries in the midst of adopting and implementing green technologies.

Michelle Lim, managing director, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, Reed Exhibitions

“As green building technology spans a range of disciplines, this contributes to a holistic sharing and overview of the field,” Lim says.

Great, green strides 

Singapore’s green building industry has seen encouraging developments in the recent years, Lim notes. A decade ago, there were 17 green-certified buildings in Singapore. Today, the number has grown to over 2,100.

In its second green master plan announced in 2009, Singapore’s Building & Construction Authority (BCA) announced that the city-state is aiming for at least 80 per cent of all buildings to be certified green by 2030.

Elsewhere in Asia, both developing and developed countries have also been making significant strides in adopting green building technology, says Lim.

Countries such as Vietnam and Myanmar have been increasingly integrating sustainable development into policies targeted at economic growth.

For example, Vietnam’s Green Growth Strategy in 2012 and Green Growth Action Plan in 2014 both aim to accelerate economic expansion while using natural resources efficiently, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and tackling poverty.

Meanwhile, India has also seen a boom in its green technology business, Lim says. The country spent US$34 billion on green building technology in 2014, 14.1 per cent more than $29.4 billion it spent in 2013, according to U.S. technology research firm Gartner.

“These examples emphasize how countries have identified successful ways of meshing sustainability with economic development, while tackling infrastructural issues at the same time,” Lim says.

Opportunities in Asia

All these developments also mean that there are plenty of opportunities for companies in the green building industry. BEX Asia aims to be the platform for these firms – big and small – to grow their presence and business through the connections that they make at the annual industry gathering.

Green Koncepts, a Singapore-based cloud energy management company for example, has been exhibiting at BEX Asia since 2011. Founded in 2008, the company has leveraged on its participation at BEX Asia to reach out to new customers, and has since enjoyed healthy growth and more than doubled its staff strength, with projects across 4 countries.

Another firm that has gained entry into the green industry with the help of BEX Asia is Greenology, a Singapore-based urban green specialist. Through the show, Greenology was able to expand outside Singapore and work with researchers in countries including the Netherlands to come up with new innovative greening ideas such as vertical greening.

These success stories have prompted many companies to exhibit at the show for the first time this year, says Lim.

Among these companies are Singapore’s ST Electronics (Satcom & Sensor Systems), which will showcase its suite of smart lighting solutions, and Australia’s Star8, the holder of patents for innovative solar applications such as a flexible lightweight solar panel, a solar transparent glass panel that can be installed as windows and solar tiles, all of which can be used in commercial and residential buildings.

The Singapore unit of France’s Schneider Electric will also display solutions that integrate separate buildings components such as lighting, heating and cooling, access control and security, energy metering and management, power and IT networks.

Lim is confident that a gathering of similarly innovative firms under one roof will spur a lively exchange of ideas.

“MCE and BEX Asia will be a timely platform that will catalyse the exchange of solutions and ideas and drive innovation in this industry. In addition to these trade events, Reed Exhibitions will also organise the first eco-lifestyle exhibition called ‘Green Living’ that will complete the multi-prong efforts to drive sustainability among the larger community,” says Lim.  

Bex Asia and MCE Asia 2015 will be held at Marina Bay Sands from 2-4 September. More than 11,000 visitors are expected and more than 550 exhibiting companies will be on site to showcase their latest innovations in green building technology. Click to register for these trade shows

MCE Asia 2015: 

BEX Asia 2015:

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