GBI in Malaysia

Topics: Green building, Natural building, Sustainable design Pages: 10 (1549 words) Published: January 5, 2015
Environmental Law Assignment
Green Building Index (GBI) in Malaysia

| Fauzan Kahfi | Jane John Mrosso | Okky Yuda Nagarana | Vidushini Siva | (MEEM 16)


Sustainability has now become a necessity in the urban environment. This is especially important in Malaysia, where the urban population is almost 75%. It is also situated in an equatorial and tropical climate region where increase urbanization will also increased warming of the land. Green building practices can substantially reduce or eliminate negative environmental impacts through good design, construction and operation. As an added benefit, green operations and management can reduce operating costs, enhance building marketability, increase workers’ productivity, and reduce potential liability resulting from indoor air quality problems5. There are various types of green building rating system available globally. Among the well-known rating systems are LEED, BREEAM, CASBEE, NABERS, GBI and so on. Simply put, all of the rating systems appear to satisfy their stated audience in purpose and practice6. This paper focuses only on GBI (Green Building Index) especially applied in Malaysia.


The Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) and the Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia (ACEM) together founded the Greenbuildingindex Sdn Bhd (GSB) in 2009, which administers the GBI, voluntary green building rating tool which was issued February 20102. GBI is the first comprehensive evaluation tool or rating system in Malaysia. Evaluated aspects are the environmental design and performance of buildings in Malaysia based on six main criteria of: 1. Energy Efficiency (EE).

2. Indoor Environment Quality (EQ).
3. Sustainable Site Planning & Management (MR).
4. Materials & Resources (SM).
5. Water Efficiency (WE).
6. Innovation (I).
The assessment of commercial and residential properties under the GBI rating tool is based on six main criteria as stated in Figure 1.

Figure 1. GBI Assesment Criteria.

GBI is developed specifically for the Malaysian tropical weather, environmental and developmental context, cultural and social needs. It covers two major types of buildings in its assessment which is the residential and non-residential buildings. The GBI environmental rating system is created to3: 1. Define green buildings by establishing a standard of measurement. 2. Promote integrated, whole-building design.

3. Recognize and reward environmental leadership.
4. Transform the built environment to reduce its environmental impact. 5. Ensure new buildings will remain relevant in the future and existing buildings are refurbished and upgraded properly to remain relevant. The certification process is shown in the Figure 2 below (adapted from GBI Assesment Process, 2010):

Figure 2. GBI Certification Process Flowchart.

Rating ranks awarded depending on the scores achieved, that are: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Certified. III. PROS And CONS


Some complaints so far is that the fees are too high. Besides registration fees, developers also have to fork out consultation fees which will be channeled to engage a facilitator. On top of that, there is a compliance cost in getting the points in GBI. When all the fees are added up, it translates to the selling price of a single unit of a specific property.

Sometimes small and medium enterprises do not have enough capital to pay these fees and they become excluded in the certification process.

Increased Profitability
Some critics of the GBI system suggest that the fees involved in attaining the certification is too high (Malaysia GBI Con article). While the may incur some high initial costs, the green certification can produce significant cost savings in the long run. This could, in turn, lead to increased profits.

Since the GBI certification in Malaysia has only been around for under 5 years, it is difficult to accurately quantify the cost savings. However,...

Bibliography: 1. Chua Fuh Yiing, Naziaty Mohd Yaacob, Hazreena Hussein. 2013. Achieving Sustainable Development: Accessibility of Green Buildings in Malaysia. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences 101 (2013) 120-129.
2. CSI. 2013. The CSI Sustainable Design and Construction Practice Guide. John Wiley & Sons Inc., New Jersey. Greenbuildingindex Sdn. Bhd. (2010). How GBI Work. Retrieved January 19, 2010, from Classification
3. Greenbuildingindex Sdn. Bhd. 2010. What is Green Building Index? Retrieved January 19, 2010, from
4. Samari, M., Godrati, N., Esmaeilifar, R., Olfat, P. and Mohd Shafiei, M. 2013. The Investigation of the Barriers in Developing Green Building in Malaysia.
5. US Green Building Council. 2009. Green Building Design and Construction. Washington DC.
6. Wen, WR and Yusoff, WZW. 2014. Analysis of The International Sustainable Building Rating System (SBSRSs) for Sustainable Development with Special Focused on Green Building Index (GBI) Malaysia. Journal of Environmental Conservation Research 2014, 2(1):11-26
7. Journal of Energy Technologies and Policy ISSN 2224-3232 (Paper) ISSN 2225-0573 (Online) Vol.3, No.11, 2013 – Special Issue for International Conference on Energy, Environment and Sustainable Economy (EESE 2013).
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