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Kaohsiung set to mandate 'green' standards for city buildings

2012/05/22 11:02:36

Kaohsiung, May 22 (CNA) New buildings in Kaohsiung will soon be required to meet green building standards based on regulations that cleared the Kaohsiung City Council on Monday.

Huang Chih-ming, an official with Kaohsiung's Public Works Bureau, said the regulations, the first green building standards passed by a local government in Taiwan, could be put into effect by July at the earliest.

They will apply to all new commercial buildings over 16 stories high, public buildings or factories costing more than NT$50 million (US$1.69 million), or buildings for public use of six-stories high or above.

The buildings that fall under the standards will be required to either install a solar power system or cover 80 percent of their roofs with gardens, incorporate rain collection systems and include parking for bicycles. Bathrooms will also be required to have shower rooms.

Existing buildings will also be subject to the new rules if an application is made to change the purpose of their use.

Developers were generally positive about the new regulations, with one saying that "the government has good intentions."

But he hoped the policy would be phased in "gradually" or "by zones," because faster implementation might add to building costs and push up housing prices.

(By Wang Shu-fen and Lilian Wu)