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Industry Leaders Rally Behind Taiwan's 2nd Healthy Sustainable Building Movement

Dec 24, 2020 | By Tingyu Chao

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the public's awareness of clean, quality air and other related health issues, accelerating Taiwan's architecture industry's foray into the latest global trend: "healthy buildings."

In response to the government's pandemic-prevention regulations, the Taiwan Architecture & Building Center (TABC), Taiwan Wellness Building Association, SEED, International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) co-hosted the "Healthy, Sustainable Living Environment for the Next Generation Promotion Conference" in the Taipei 101 Tower on Dec. 18. The rallying effort led by market leaders is a clear step forward in the movement's second wave to help Taiwan's architecture and related industries understand healthy building standards.

Taiwan`s government representatives and architecture industry leaders pose at the opening ceremony for a healthy building promotion conference on Dec. 18 at Taipei 101. Photo taken by Ting-Yu Chao.Taiwan`s government representatives and architecture industry leaders pose at the opening ceremony for a healthy building promotion conference on Dec. 18 at Taipei 101. Photo taken by Ting-Yu Chao.

Interior Administrative Deputy Minister Chiu Chang-yueh led industry leaders, representatives, and associations to pledge towards cultivating and promoting a healthier architectural environment during the opening ceremony. The pledge represents Taiwanese firms' increasing focus and proactive response to the healthy building movement, including developing new technologies, system integration, and outlining standards for furniture materials and on-site inspection guidelines.

The conference saw the induction of new IWBI membership in Taiwan (Delta Electronics at Keystone level, Bao Pu Construction Development, and Hopax Bio-Medical at Cornerstone level) and an award ceremony plaque presentation for four recently certified WELL platinum projects. (SEDIA PTE. LTD. Taiwan Branch & LKP Architecture, INFANCIX Postpartum Care Center, JAHO Life Plus+ Gemcare Maternity Center Dunhua, and Center Zhongshan branches.)

Taiwan's three inspection and certification organizations TABC, SGS Taiwan, and ETC Taiwan Testing and Certification Center, also signed an MOU, representing the formulation of a healthy building inspection and certification union. The MOU seeks to create a foundation to instill international standards for Taiwan's companies to follow and obtain a healthy building certification.

Taiwan`s top three certification institutions sign an MOU, pledging increased efforts in promoting and verifying standards for healthy buildings. Photo taken by Ting-Yu Chao.Taiwan`s top three certification institutions sign an MOU, pledging increased efforts in promoting and verifying standards for healthy buildings. Photo taken by Ting-Yu Chao.

Taiwan Wellness Building Association Head Consultant Chiang Che-ming shared his observations of the global architecture field changes in the past 50 years. He emphasized the WELL healthy building movement's importance in the modern era and encouraged Taiwan's industry to obtain certification and bolster global competitiveness. Chiang added that he believed the industry's future would center on how buildings impact an occupant's mental wellbeing.

Taiwan Wellness Building Association Head Consultant Chiang Che-ming shares his industry observations at the healthy building conference at Taipei 101 on Dec. 18. Photo taken by Ting-Yu Chao.Taiwan Wellness Building Association Head Consultant Chiang Che-ming shares his industry observations at the healthy building conference at Taipei 101 on Dec. 18. Photo taken by Ting-Yu Chao.

Interior Administrative Deputy Minister Chiu elaborated on his hopes for Taiwan's implementation of healthy and green building materials and healthy, sustainable, and ethical furniture. He said the most effective method to remove harmful, pollutive elements inside the buildings and promote a healthier environment would be through instilling standards from the source. However, Chiu said this would require suppliers to practice and verify standards proactively in each step when constructing a building.

Interior Administrative Deputy Minister Chiu Chang-yueh speaking at the opening ceremony. Photo taken by Ting-Yu Chao.Interior Administrative Deputy Minister Chiu Chang-yueh speaking at the opening ceremony. Photo taken by Ting-Yu Chao.

"It's exciting to see industry leaders and WELL champions in Taiwan are coming together to focus on people's health and wellbeing in the buildings and communities we create through our daily work," said Richard Chang, senior director of IWBI (Asia). "With such strong industry support, WELL is quickly becoming an efficient tool to help build people-first places in Taiwan."

He also elaborated on seeing many companies and suppliers in Taiwan offering support and interest in acquiring WELL certification. Despite the pandemic impacting organizations across industries, Chang said IWBI was among the few institutions that saw explosive growth instead, pointing out that membership saw at least a four-fold increase compared to last year.

IWBI (Asia) Senior Director Richard Chang. Photo taken by Ting-Yu Chao.IWBI (Asia) Senior Director Richard Chang. Photo taken by Ting-Yu Chao.


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