Lecture 4: Eco Commercial Building Programme – A Firm Step towards Sustainable Urbanization

Ms. Shi Lei, Bayer Material Science (China) Co., Ltd.
Prepared by Atsushi Shimahata, Hokkaido University

Ms. Shi Lei works as a Marketing Manager on eco-commercial building at the center of excellence of Bayer Material Science Co. As she comes from the private sector, the lecture approach provided a different direction from other talks previously given by academics.

The main point of her lecture was that “sustainability” can be achieved from a “business” perspective. She mentioned that innovations on materials and building should be actively utilised and, in order to create synergetic effects, partnerships in the value chain and/or market are important. An example of an active partnership is that involving European, US and Asia committees. China has also started to adopt green building policies and Ms. Shi’s office is also working with the Chinese government.

Ms. Lucy mentioned, in terms of energy consumption, that the process of building is the highest consuming process, corresponding to 40% of the total, and that we could reduce up to 90% of the consumption using our own efforts. She emphasized that an individual mindset and tools should be shared for developing products and business models. There are also several certification systems, and if the new buildings satisfy the standard of eco-building created by partners, they are able to obtain the certificate.

After the lecture, we discussed about the cost for installing these new types of buildings. In particular, there are several barriers for developing countries to finance the introduction of such green technologies. Ms. Lucy answered that there are several financial support mechanisms, for example the partnership gives back a part of the cost to the owners. She repeated that although such an investment cost would normally be high, if we make an option for green buildings for energy saving, we could save living cost in the long term, which would compensate the initial investment.