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Rehda's green wishlist

PETALING JAYA (May 25): The Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association (Rehda) has submitted its Budget 2013 wishlist to the Ministry of Finance, including proposals for more incentives to encourage green building and development.

According to Rehda president Datuk Seri Michael Yam, apart from the efforts put in by developers, architects and designers to adopt green features in their projects, more can be done with government assistance.

The proposals in the wishlist include the allocation of RM10 billion worth of incentives annually for the upgrading of existing buildings to green buildings and to recognise international green certifications such as the Green Mark from Singapore, Australia's Green Star, UK's Breeam and the US' Leeds.

“Green building incentives must be given irrespective of whether the rating authority is local or foreign. As an industry we should be promoting the green agenda and green certification by all green rating agencies.

“They should be equally recognised to encourage builders, professionals and developers to pursue multiple globally recognised green certificates and not limit their choice to the local rating tools,” Yam said during the launch of Rehda Youth's Green Tour Kuala Lumpur 2 on Tuesday. The event was officiated by  Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry secretary-general Datuk Loo Took Gee.

The association also called for grants from the Malaysian Green Technology Corp to be expanded to cover design, consultation and certification fees, particularly for those applying for the Malaysian Green Building Index silver certifications and above.

Other proposals include stamp duty waiver for transfer of green certified properties from developers to buyers for five years; a double tax deduction on expenses on green building training; a personal income tax deduction on training fees incurred for attending talks and seminars related to green building and development organised by recognised professional bodies including Rehda; incentives to developers to use recycled building materials sourced locally; and allowing a maximum of 50% discount on assessment rates and quit rents for owners of green properties.

Developers of green projects should also be rewarded with higher density as well as higher plot ratios of at least 20% increase not only as an incentive to offset costs but also as a reward for going green, said Yam.

On its next Green Tour, Yam said Rehda is looking at Bangkok for the next leg, slated for year-end.

The first Green Tour was held in March 2011 and showcased four developments in the Klang Valley, 1First Avenue in Bandar Utama, Challis Damansara, GTower office building and Ken Bangsar serviced apartments in Kuala Lumpur.

The second Green Tour took Rehda members and industry professionals to the new Rehda headquarters in Kelana Jaya, architect Dr Tan Loke Mun's S11 house in Section 11, Petaling Jaya, Mont'Kiara 11 condominium and the Sime Darby Idea House in Shah Alam.

This story appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on May 25, 2012.

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