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Importance of Implementing Green Technology in Malaysian Construction Industry

Info: 3353 words (13 pages) Introduction
Published: 12th Oct 2021

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Tagged: ConstructionEnvironmental Studies


It is widely accepted that the construction industry has harmful impacts on the environment, economy, and society (Darko et al., 2018). The construction industry was responsible for 32% of the total global energy consumption, greenhouse gas (GHG) emission has occupied the 19% from the total global energy, which is nearly one-third of the total global carbon emissions (Y. Zhang, Wang, Hu, & Wang, 2017). Nowadays, as the public is concern about the impacts in construction industry, peoples have increasingly taken on responsible measures to curb environmental problems (“Basic Information About Green Building,” 2016). Green building has been well received by governments around the world as a strategy for improving the sustainability of the construction industry (Shen, Yan, Fan, Wu, & Zhang, 2017). Green building is defined as “the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource efficient throughout a building’s lifecycle” (USEPA, 2016). However, green building is not achievable without the adoption of green technologies. The typical examples of green technologies are solar technology and green roof technology (X. Zhang, Shen, & Wu, 2011).

Green technology is often referred to “clean technology” or “environmental technology”. According to Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA, 2010), “green technology” is the development and application of products, equipment and systems used to conserve the natural environment and resources, which minimize and reduces the negative impact of human activities”. (Dean, 2014) mentioned that the types of green technology often seen in the energy usage efficiency (energy conservation), green buildings (used of materials that will not cause harm to the environment), green chemistry (used of chemicals that will not endanger to the environment) and green nanotechnology (used of materials that are based-on green principles with the smallest nanometer). According to (Butt, 2016), green technology is to conserve the nature and to remedy the negative impact that create by human being, such as reducing carbon dioxide (co2) emissions.  Thus, green technology can provide opportunities for the stakeholder to reposition their skills and capability for getting benefits from the future markets (Hart SL, Milstein MB, 2006).

Moreover, there are many barriers, drivers and promotion strategies which can influence the implementation of green technology. With the understanding of those barriers, drivers and promotion strategy will be the key success to promote the implementation of green technology. Thus, there are several studies carried out to analyze the barriers by (X. Zhang, Shen, et al., 2011), drivers by (Darko, Chan, Ameyaw, He, & Olanipekun, 2017) and promotion strategies by (A. P. C. Chan, Darko, & Ameyaw, 2017). A better and deeper understanding of those drivers is necessary in order to encourage the widespread of implementation of green technologies, because such understanding would significantly impact the stakeholders’ decision making (Qi, Shen, Zeng, & Jorge, 2010). With a better understanding about key drivers of implementation of green technology, the willingness of stakeholders to invest in green technology would be increased. The purpose of this paper is to present the aims and objectives of ongoing research within Malaysia in implementation of green technology in construction industry, a review of literature relating to the application of green technology in construction industry, the barriers and the strategies for implementation of green technology by the government in construction industry.

Research AIMs and objectives

The overarching aim of the research is to investigate the awareness of implementing green technology in Malaysia and identifying the barriers and strategy in implementing green technology in Malaysia. In order to achieve the stated aim, the following objectives have been formulated:

  1. To determine the application of green technology in construction industry in Malaysia.
  2. To evaluate the obstacles on application of green technology in construction industry in Malaysia.
  3. To identify the impact of implementation of green technology in construction industry to the environment.
  4. To investigate the strategy for promoting green technology adoption in construction industry by the Government in Malaysia.
  5. To increase the public awareness and education on green technology and encourage its widespread use of green technology in Malaysia.

The hypothesis which shall be tested by the research is as follows: If Malaysia wish to achieve a greener environment, then the green technology in construction industry should be adopted.”


There are many different types of applicable green technology in the whole process of delivering a building projects, which include solar energy technology, green roof and wall technologies (X. Zhang, Platten, & Shen, 2011). Malaysia government has promotes the application of green technology especially for the buildings, such as solar energy, rainwater harvesting system and the application of green building index (GBI) in order to achieve energy renewable, efficiency of energy and etc (Suhaida M.S., 2011).

Solar Energy

Renewable energy are easily available to mankind in many areas around the world. The most significant benefit of renewable energy is the reduction of environmental pollution, especially for the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Shahsavari & Akbari, 2018). Moreover, solar energy is a pollution-free energy and it play a remarkable role in providing energy in a sustainable ways (Mohammed, Mustafa, & Bashir, 2013). As mention by Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau of Science, Technology and Innovation, “Malaysia is the world leader when it comes to solar power.” Furthermore, “Malaysia is the second largest manufacturer of photovoltaic modules and the third largest producer of photovoltaic cells in the world”, said Tangau (Muthiah, 2017). Malaysia is locate in the equatorial region, where the sunshine is abundance for the whole year, thus the solar power play a crucial role in the future energy mix of the country (Lee, 2017). It is a waste if solar energy application is not fully utilized in Malaysia due to its location (WAHAB, 2012). Solar energy is used for two purposes: solar thermal applications and photovoltaic (PV) technology. Solar thermal applications are used for heating purposes which collect the heat from solar energy, while photovoltaic (PV) technologies are for electricity generation (Teh, 2012). Moreover, the photovoltaic (PV) cells are the extraction of solar energy to convert it to electrical energy which mean a PV cell is to convert the solar energy which is cascading on the surface straight away turn it into electricity (Ivan et al., 2007). Solar energy technology are one of the main options that meet  for the small and large-scale energy demand in reliable, affordable, practical and environmentally sustainable manner (Shahsavari & Akbari, 2018).

Rainwater Harvesting System

Rainwater Harvesting System (RWHS) can be defined as the collection and storage of rainwater rather than to waste it off as runoff (Lani, Yusop, & Syafiuddin, 2018). In addition, RWHS has benefits of low carbon footprint as compare to other water supply systems and it will be more energy efficiency as less pumping required from source to consumer (Vieira, Beal, Ghisi, & Stewart, 2014). Other than that, this system are able to at the same time address the water scarcity issue and reduce the dependence on domestic water supply (Sample & Liu, 2014). On the 27th March 2006, the Prime Minister of Malaysia has announced rainwater harvesting system should be enforce to large buildings, like factories, school and bungalow (H.O. et al., 2007). Generally, a RWHS consist components such as roof or surface area for rainwater collection, gutters and down pipes as for conveyance system, and the first flush in filtering system and plumbing to toilets, washing machine and general use for the distribution system (Md Darus, 2006).


Government must have a wide coverage of incentives which include the usage of green products and technologies, developing a project management framework for green construction, educating humankind on the future benefits of green building and subsidy from government for research and development (R&D) in green building systems and management have identified strategies to promote the adoption of green building (Hwang & Tan, 2012). In Malaysia, there has been many policies, legislations and promotional activities put in place in order to foster the green growth for the nation (KeTTHA, 2010).

On the 24th July 2009, the National Green Technology Policy (NGTP) was successfully launched by the Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib to generate more awareness of green technology applications (Malaysian Green Technology Corporation, 2014). The policy statement of NGTP is to be a driver to accelerate the national economy and promote sustainable development. This policy is based-on four pillars which are the energy, environment, economy and social perspective (Malaysia Launches National Green Technology Policy, 2009). Other than that, the government will restructure the Malaysia Energy Centre as the National Green Technology Centre which tasked for formulating green technology action plan. This Centre primary function as the emphasis to set standards and promote green technology (Razak, 2009).

Furthermore, Green Technology Financing Scheme (GTFS) has announce in the National Budget 2010 which support green technology and green buildings (Razak, 2009), by providing entrepreneurs and companies venture with access to financing from Participating Financial Institutions (PFI) (KeTTHA, 2014).  According to (“Budget Speech 2018,” 2018), the government will provide a sum of RM5 billion under the Green Technology Financing Scheme (GTFS) to promote investment in green technology industry. “The implementation of GTFS is significant to ensure that the green technology based projects continue to receive funding and support, which will indirectly contribute to the growth and development of Malaysia’s green technology industry,” said Maximus Johnity Ongkili, who is the Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water (Joseph Kaos, 2017).

The Government has launched the Green Building Index (GBI) on the 21st May 2009, which is a green rating index on environmentally friendly building. The government in Malaysia promote green technology by offering the building owners obtaining GBI Certificates from 24th October 2009 to 31st December 2014 be exempted income tax equivalent to the additional capital expenditure in obtaining such Certificate (Razak, 2009).


Major barriers identified by Malaysian and Chinese studies included lack of knowledge and expertise, lack of market demand, lack of green building codes and regulations, lack of incentives and lack of databases and information. The most crucial barrier in adoption of green technology is the economic barrier which is the cost (E. H. W. Chan, Qian, & Lam, 2009). Green building are valued higher than the conventional buildings, which cost 40% higher than conventional buildings and it may even fetch higher rentals. Green building are higher in cost because the needs of higher capital upfront, for example, solar panel system not often implement in housing project due to high installation cost (Goh, Seow, & Goh, 2011). Furthermore, the capital cost or operating cost will also create stumbling blocks for stakeholder to choose between green and conventional buildings (E. H. W. Chan et al., 2009).

The next barrier will be the policy and market barriers. The external barriers result from inadequacy of regulation due to lack of adequate incentives for the promotion of green building, implementation and execution of building, etc that adversely affect the interest of stakeholder (Abraham, 2018). Due to low demand for green buildings, green rating mechanisms are not popular and as a result, the premium and resale value are not attractive to the investor.

Furthermore, will be lack of awareness, education and information on the benefits of green building technology across all stakeholders. This barriers arise internally due to lack of information, knowledge and expertise in life cycle costing of building, etc. This industry has a lot of asymmetric information on technical and management aspects and it probably impact stakeholders in their decision making (Abraham, 2018). At current situation, the sustainable knowledge and cognition of all stakeholders, including the policy makers, owners, designers, construction personnel and the public need to be further improved. A report from China Environmental Awareness Program (CEAP) indicate that the public conscious that the responsibility for the environmental protection pertain to local government and authorities (CEAP, 2007). Government plays an essential role in advocating this idea to the public. Therefore, the unwillingness of industry practitioners to change the conventional way of specifying existing methods became another technical barrier (Chen & Chambers, 1999; Meryman & Silman, 2004). Since green certificates require additional cost, most developers are unwilling to pay for the high cost related to the green certification, even though there are significant proves of benefits towards operational cost in the long-run (“Government Incentives and Regulation as the Main Challenges for Green Building Development in Asia,” 2016).


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