Taiwan’s building code to get greener in July

Revised regulations set to take effect in July will make green outdoor space and reduced pollution priorities in new building designs, according to the ROC Ministry of the Interior May 23.

Amendments to the Building Technical Regulations will require construction plans to provide plant covering for at least half of their open-air space, said Hsieh Wei-sung, an official with the MOI Construction and Planning Agency.

Applications that fail to comply will have to submit revised plans to local authorities before they can be granted permission to build, he said.

“The aim of this prerequisite is to offset the carbon emissions produced during new construction projects,” he noted.

Targeting all building sites larger than 300 square meters, the updated rules will see the mandatory percentage of green building materials used for interiors upped from 30 percent to 45 percent, while public spaces such as sidewalks or gardens will be required to use at least 10 percent green materials.

“The use of environmentally friendly materials is becoming more common and less expensive,” Hsieh said, adding that the percentages will ultimately be raised to 100 percent.

Over 420 green building materials have been certified by the Taiwan Architecture and Building Center, including a range of tiles, bricks, boards, flooring, adhesives, paints and electrical cables. These products are recognized for their recyclability, reduced toxicity or energy efficiency.

As many as 20,000 new construction projects, or 80 percent of planned developments, may need to make minor revisions to bring their designs in line with the revised regulations, industry sources estimated.

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