As Floods, Incomes Rise, Demand for Green Building is Building in Indonesia

Indonesia’s rapidly growing middle class and increasingly severe flooding, which can shut down the country’s biggest cities for days, is accelerating the search for safer and more efficient building designs that assure their users access to clean water and will keep them more secure when the weather turns nasty.

Australia’s shared climatic zones with Indonesia and its experience in making cities, especially in the northern tropical areas, more resilient to times of flood and drought, may be a source of expertise as local administrators devise new water management strategies as urban population’s boom.

“Our strengths are in innovative water management,” says Chris Tanner of civil engineering firm Bligh Tanner. “We think we have something to offer.”

Leaders of Australia’s green building industry had gathered in Bandung and Jakarta on 6-9 May 2014 as part of the Australian Tropical Green Building Mission 2014, coordinated by the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade).

Cities in Australia’s far north, while tropical, can have more severe weather than Jakarta. Annual rainfall bests Jakarta’s, though Indonesia’s capital can have slightly higher temperatures year round. What’s more, cyclones and storm surges can flood the Queensland’s coastal cities and large parts of its interior.

“So often office building designs may be the same whether they’re in New York or Singapore,” says Emma Thirkell, spokeswoman for the Tropical Green Building Network, an industry body representing 200 local businesses and government agencies.

Strict building codes in Australia that stem, in part, from local researchers have yielded some of the world’s highest construction standards as well as disaster mitigation practices. Thirkell’s organization has a research- and- development tie up with James Cook University, which for three decades has provided independent advice on storm readiness to local authorities.

Australia’s Tropical Green Building Mission 2014, in conjunction with Green Building Conference, APN Meeting & Mini Expo 2014 May 8-9 2014– the leading conference for the Indonesian green building industry, bringing together participants representing Indonesian and Australian key spokespeople as well as planners, designers and other experts in the field of green building.


In 2012, Jakarta’s municipal government introduced building codes aimed at boosting energy and water efficiency. The gubernatorial regulation on Green Buildings affects all permit applications for large office buildings, shopping malls and apartments. The permits, which govern applications for projects of at least 50,000 square metres, went into effect in mid 2013. Existing high-rise buildings will be audited to ensure compliance with the gubernatorial regulation.

The non-profit Green Building Council of Indonesia (GBCIndonesia) has issued green building certifications for 8 projects since the body was set up in 2009. Known as GREENSHIP certifications, GBC Indonesia is considering applications for the certification of 50 new building projects and to retrofit existing buildings.


This article is written by Austrade as part of “Austrade – Tropical Green Building Mission 2014 program”

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