International Finance Corporation (IFC) on Thursday introduced its innovation called the Building Resilience Index (BRI) in Vietnam in a bid to help local developers improve the resilience of buildings in the Southeast Asian country.
According to IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, Vietnam is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change, having lost about US$10 billion in 2020 to climate impacts, equivalent to 3.2 percent of the country's gross domestic product.
Low lying and exposed to natural hazards, about 300 coastal urban areas that provide livelihoods for a growing and rapidly urbanizing population especially bear the brunt.
The BRI is a web-based hazard mapping and resilience assessment framework.
It evaluates location-specific climate-related risks for real estate projects and the resilience measures which have been implemented.
The IFC innovation makes it easy for developers, locators, homebuyers, and other stakeholders to assess, improve, and disclose the resilience of buildings.
Nguyen Cong Thinh, deputy head of the Science and Technology Department under the Vietnamese Ministry of Construction, said that integrating sustainable and climate resilient measures in urban development will help ensure a safe and healthy environment for people to live and work in and avoid losses of residential and industrial assets, while at the same time contributing to the country's combined resilient and net-zero development path.
"In the face of threats posed by a rapidly changing climate, it's vital to ensure that buildings are resilient to natural hazards such as cyclones, flooding, fire, and landslides, especially in Vietnam's urban areas, where so many people live," said Thomas Jacobs, IFC country manager for Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.
With support from the Australian government, the BRI program in Vietnam has identified and integrated the country's hazard maps into the BRI app.
It will select three pilot projects spanning the residential, office, retail, educational, and hospitality sectors to assess and build resilience.
The program will build on the success of IFC's green building certification program, Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE).
Since 2015, EDGE has helped save $4.1 million in utility costs for 77,000 residents, avoiding 30,000 metric tons of greenhouse-gas emissions annually.
The BRI initiative was launched in 2020 with the Philippines as the pilot country.
Within a year and a half, 1.8 million square meters of gross floor area have been committed to being assessed by BRI for improved climate resilience.