Mid-term evaluation of energy efficiency in commercial building project (00084022)

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Evaluation Plan:
2017-2021, Viet Nam
Evaluation Type:
Project
Planned End Date:
06/2019
Completion Date:
07/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

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Title Mid-term evaluation of energy efficiency in commercial building project (00084022)
Atlas Project Number: 00084022
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021, Viet Nam
Evaluation Type: Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 07/2019
Planned End Date: 06/2019
Management Response: Yes
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Poverty
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 2.1.1 Low emission and climate resilient objectives addressed in national, sub-national and sectoral development plans and policies to promote economic diversification and green growth
SDG Goal
  • Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
SDG Target
  • 12.4 By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
  • 9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: Project budget
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 30,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Energy Efficiency Improvement in Commercial and High-Rise Residential Buildings in Vietnam
Evaluation Type: Mid-term Review
Focal Area: Climate Change
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 5365
PIMS Number: 5245
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Construction (MOC)
Countries: VIET NAM
Lessons
Findings
1.

4.1 Project Strategy

4.1.1 Project Design

Lessons from other relevant projects incorporated into project design During inception phase, the project has reviewed and considered various ongoing activities that directly and indirectly enhance EE in the building sector in Viet Nam such as the “Promotion of Energy Efficiency in Vietnam Building Sector Project” (2013-2017) initiated by MOC; the “Low Carbon Transition in Energy Efficiency Sector Project” (2014-2016); Viet Nam Clean Energy Program (VCEP, 2014-2018) implemented by the MOC aims to assist in the implementation of the National Green Growth Strategy; the project on “Strengthening Capacity and Institutional Reform for Green Growth and Sustainable Development in Viet Nam” (CIGG, 2015-2018) implemented by the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) in collaboration with UNDP Viet Nam; Capacity Building for Implementation of National Climate Change Strategy Project (CBICS, 2014 – 2017) implemented by MONRE & MARD with technical and financial support from UNDP Viet Nam.


Tag: Emission Reduction Energy Knowledge management Capacity Building Institutional Strengthening Technical Support

2.

Extent to which Project addresses country priorities and is country-driven.

Project is in line with country priorities and national sector development priorities: The National Green Growth Strategy for the period of 2011-2020 and Vision to 2050 approved by Prime Minister on 25/09/2012 through the Decision No. 1393/QD-TTg having the general objective “Green growth, moving towards a low-carbon economy, enriching natural resources becomes a mainstream trend in sustainable economic development; reducing emissions and increasing the ability to absorb greenhouse gases gradually become mandatory and important indicators in socio-economic development”. The strategic mandate is “Reducing the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions and promoting the use of clean energy and renewable energy according to the following key criteria: during the period 2011 – 2020, reducing the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions 8-10% compared to 2010, reducing energy consumption per GDP by 1 - 1.5% per year. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in energy activities from 10% to 20% compared to the normal development plan. In which voluntary level is about 10%, the remaining 10% is strives level when there is more international support”. The Strategy also specifies promulgation of compulsory application of green building measures in new and retrofitted buildings and green material technology in construction as solutions to achieve Green Growth and low carbon economy. The EECB Project’s goal is to reduce intensity of GHG emissions from the building sector in Viet Nam. The project objective is to improve the energy utilization performance of commercial and high-rise residential buildings in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. Specifically, the proposed project is supposed to reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 20 ktons of CO2 per year by end of the project (cumulative total of about 37.7 ktons of CO2 up to end of project). Ten years after the project end, CO2 emissions are forecast to be about 6% lower in annual emissions that in the absence of the Project. Therefore, the EECB Project is absolutely relevant to the Strategy.


Tag: Climate change governance Emission Reduction Energy Relevance National

3.

Extent to which Project addresses country priorities and is country-driven.

Project is in line with country priorities and national sector development priorities: The National Green Growth Strategy for the period of 2011-2020 and Vision to 2050 approved by Prime Minister on 25/09/2012 through the Decision No. 1393/QD-TTg having the general objective “Green growth, moving towards a low-carbon economy, enriching natural resources becomes a mainstream trend in sustainable economic development; reducing emissions and increasing the ability to absorb greenhouse gases gradually become mandatory and important indicators in socio-economic development”. The strategic mandate is “Reducing the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions and promoting the use of clean energy and renewable energy according to the following key criteria: during the period 2011 – 2020, reducing the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions 8-10% compared to 2010, reducing energy consumption per GDP by 1 - 1.5% per year. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in energy activities from 10% to 20% compared to the normal development plan. In which voluntary level is about 10%, the remaining 10% is strives level when there is more international support”. The Strategy also specifies promulgation of compulsory application of green building measures in new and retrofitted buildings and green material technology in construction as solutions to achieve Green Growth and low carbon economy. The EECB Project’s goal is to reduce intensity of GHG emissions from the building sector in Viet Nam. The project objective is to improve the energy utilization performance of commercial and high-rise residential buildings in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. Specifically, the proposed project is supposed to reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 20 ktons of CO2 per year by end of the project (cumulative total of about 37.7 ktons of CO2 up to end of project). Ten years after the project end, CO2 emissions are forecast to be about 6% lower in annual emissions that in the absence of the Project. Therefore, the EECB Project is absolutely relevant to the Strategy.


Tag: Climate change governance Emission Reduction Energy Relevance National

4.

Relevance to UNDP Country Strategy and GEF objective

The Project is also in accordance with UNDP Viet Nam Country Program Documents for period 2012-2016 and 2017-2021 and the UN One Plan III (2012-2016) and One Strategic Plan 2017-2021 under the “Inclusive, Equitable and Sustainable Growth” focus area, specifically Outcome 1.3 on the climate change adaptation, mitigation and disaster risk management. The Project is aligned with the GEF Climate Change Objective 2: Promote Market Transformation for Energy Efficiency in Industry and the Building Sector. The Project has been designed to contribute to all key expected outcomes, i.e. appropriate policy, legal and regulatory frameworks adopted and enforced; sustainable financing and delivery mechanisms established and operational, and; GHG emissions avoided.


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Disaster risk management Emission Reduction Energy Relevance Global Environment Facility fund

5.

4.1.2 Results Framework (Logframe)

The GEF Project Results Framework (logframe) is a key basis for planning the detailed activities under the implementation framework that was defined in the Project Document. It is also used as a basis for reporting on the progress towards achievement of development objectives and implementation progress to GEF in the middle of the calendar year (end of GEF fiscal year) in a combined Annual Project Review (APR) and Project Implementation Report (PIR), together with the UNDP format for internal project management and reporting done on an annual basis (Standard Progress Reports). The logframe in principle serves to monitor & evaluate the overall project achievements – based on defined targets and indicators to measure these targets. Indicative activities are related to each output and output target. The following table provides an overview on the MTR assessment of the project’s logframe and how “SMART” the mid-term achievements are compared to the defined end-of-project targets (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound).


Tag: Energy Monitoring and Evaluation Project and Programme management Results-Based Management

6.

4.2.2 Remaining Barriers to Achieving Project Objective

Among the prevailing barriers that were considered in the project design to be mitigated by the EECB Project, the following remain to be addressed throughout the outstanding project lifetime: ? Lack of enforcement and technical capacity in energy efficient building design approval: Already in the ProDoc it was mentioned that the application of modern energy efficient designs and techniques/practices has been a slow process due to requirements to build in-country capacities. Shortage of technical experts and consultants as well as skillful workforce providing building energy efficiency related services are still prevailing in Viet Nam. Especially at the level of DOCs, the provincial departments of construction, proper personnel and number of staff assigned for verification of building designs prior to issuance of building construction permissions are missing. Staff consists of mainly architects whose technical knowledge and needed skills on civil and electrical engineering requires further strengthening and providing them with proper tools and checklists to approve buildings according to the requirements of the revised building code and technical standards. ? Low awareness capacities of building sector players: Lack of skills among building design and construction professionals are still a main barrier necessary to integrate energy efficient technologies and design techniques into their work. The Project needs to continue building awareness and capacity among market actors and make sure that energy benchmarks and successful demonstration projects applying these practices are properly and widely disseminated. GEF funding will also support training & capacity development of current and future architects, engineers and building practitioners, and disseminate good practice and lessons learned.


Tag: Challenges Technology Awareness raising Capacity Building Technical Support

7.

4.3 Project Implementation and Adaptive Management

The MTR expert has reviewed the project implementation and adaptive management of the Project, identified challenges and is going to propose in this report additional measures to support more efficient and effective implementation. The following aspects of project implementation and adaptive management have been assessed: ? management arrangements, ? work planning, ? finance and co-finance, ? project-level monitoring and evaluation systems, ? stakeholder engagement, ? reporting, and ? communications. Achievements of project implementation and adaptive management have been rated in terms of the criteria above at a six level scale as follows: ? Highly satisfactory (HS) - the project has no shortcomings ? Satisfactory (S) - minor shortcomings ? Moderately satisfactory (MS) - moderate shortcomings ? Moderately unsatisfactory (MU) - significant shortcomings ? Unsatisfactory (U) - major shortcomings ? Highly unsatisfactory (HU) - severe shortcomings. The results of the review and justification for the rating provided is described in the following paragraphs. The selected rating and a description/explanation of that rating is included in the MTR Ratings & Achievements Summary table (refer to summary, chapter 1.4).  


Tag: Change Management Implementation Modality Monitoring and Evaluation

8.

4.3.1 Management Arrangements

The Project Management arrangements are as follows: ? At inception stage, the PMU planned to have 3 full time staff including a National Project Manager, Project Coordinator, and Accountant cum Administrative Assistant. Currently PMU consists of 4 full time staff including a National Project Manager, Financial Officer, Technical Officer and Interpreter cum Administrative Assistant. PMU just newly recruited a Technical Officer to assist PMU in technical issues and work closely with International technical advisor. The current Project Coordinator position is assigned by MOC and is paid by government funds, not by GEF. ? A team of national and international specialists has been established to ensure proper implementation of the project activities and timely delivery of the expected outputs. The expert team is mobilized to implement project activities in line with the Project Logframe and Project Annual Work Plan. The most recent work plan for 2019 with allocation of expert tasks has been provided and reviewed by the MTR consultant. The Logframe and Project Performance Analysis summarizing achieved progress and pending tasks as of end December 2018 has been introduced in Table 3. ? National experts hired under the Project comprised: o Part-time National Technical Advisor, o Part-time Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant o Part-time 2 Demonstration Technical Leaders and o Part-time 6 Technical Officers for demonstration projects ? International experts hired under the Project comprised: o Part-time International Technical Advisor


Tag: National Human and Financial resources Procurement Project and Programme management Coordination Technical Support

9.

Work Planning

? Master Plan and Annual Workplans (AWPs) were made by result-based planning method. In the Master Plan the results were phased out by different stages of the project time life, to allow easier monitoring or checking results by each stage. The annual workplans were prepared and submitted on time and followed NIM modality on preparation and approval of AWPs. The activities were planned in the current implementation year but if not implemented during the current year, were able to be moved on to the next year. ? While the Annual Workplans were prepared and submitted on time, the approval of the procurement plan 2017 was delayed by 3 months (from March to June). During 2018, the project implemented the remaining procurement packages which were approved in 2017. The procurement plan 2019 consists of only 3 procurement packages that have been submitted to the Planning and Financial Department under MoC for the GoV approval process. 


Tag: Energy National Implementation Modality Procurement Programme/Project Design Country Government

10.

4.3.3 Finance and Co-financing

At MTR stage, the Project disbursed USD 1,196,844 equivalent to 37% of total GEF Grant. The project disbursement rate is low while the Project was by end December already more than half-way through its overall duration. Nearly 2/3 of total GEF budget need to be disbursed within less than one-and-half years left of time left (January 2019 to April 2020 – official closing month). The major concerns therefore are how to increase the disbursement rate and implementation progress in the remaining time of the Project.

Co-financers in private sector have changed compared to the CEO endorsement stage; 12 building developers that initially committed an amount of about USD 15 million at have not engaged with the Project, and only 4 co-financers kept their commitments to the Project (USD 3.78 million). To achieve the Project targets the Project needed to look for other new co-financing sources. Luckily, the Project has been able to engage with 5 new project developers with an investment commitment of about USD 118.8 million and making the total investment commitment of the project by EOP to reach about USD 125.5 million. At the MTR stage, the actual amount contributed by 5 new co-financers reached to USD 71,605,919 making the total actual investment of the project achieved to USD 75,744,447, or an equivalent of 352% in comparison to the amount committed at endorsement stage. See above table for more details.


Tag: Efficiency Global Environment Facility fund Resource mobilization Human and Financial resources Operational Efficiency Partnership

11.

4.3.4 Project Level Monitoring & Evaluation Systems

The Project is subject to standard UNDP monitoring and evaluation procedures. The elements of the project level monitoring and evaluation system have been defined in the ProDoc as follows: ? Project Inception Workshop: to assist all partners to fully understand and take ownership of the project, and agree on possible revisions of the indicators, targets and their means of verification, while rechecking assumptions and risks. ? Project Implementation Workplan: with a work plan to outline the general timeframe for completion of key project outputs and achievement of outcomes. ? Quarterly monitoring of project progress (UNDP Enhanced Results Based Management Platform), update of risk logs in ATLAS from which Project Progress Reports can be generated. ? Project Implementation Report (PIR) and PMU Progress Reports to monitor progress made since project start and in particular for the previous reporting period. ? AWP and expenditure reports ? Project Steering Committee (PSC) meetings ? Periodic Monitoring site visits. ? Mid-Term Review and Terminal Evaluation in accordance with UNDP and GEF requirements and providing recommendations for follow-up activities. ? Learning and knowledge sharing: results from the Project to be disseminated within and beyond the project intervention zone through existing information sharing networks and forums.


Tag: Donor relations Knowledge management Monitoring and Evaluation Partnership Risk Management

12.

4.3.5 Stakeholder Engagement

The project management team has generally a good working relationship with major stakeholders from Government of Viet Nam. The relationship on a personal basis allows linking key partners to the Project and achieving their necessary commitment throughout the overall project activity. Taking into consideration the efforts of the project team, the key government partners appear ready to provide their full support to the Project when needed. However, a differentiated view is required between the general interest and overall commitment shown by some project partners and their actual readiness (and eventually willingness) to implement the activities they have agreed to. Some elements demonstrating the effectiveness of the project partnership and challenges facing by major stakeholders and beneficiaries are summarized below: MOC and MOIT are two primary government agencies at the state management level with mandates to promote EE in the building sector in Viet Nam. The inception report envisages that “the role of several stakeholders is crucial for the success of the project, in particular the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) and the Ministry of Finance (MoF)”, however, while other members of PSC are strongly present, the involvement of MoF in the Project is rather limited. The Project might need more active participation of MOF in development of incentives mechanisms for EE in Buildings in coming times.


Tag: Energy Civic Engagement Partnership Procurement Project and Programme management Country Government Awareness raising Coordination

13.

4.3.6 Reporting

The Project produces two reporting systems, one for UNDP and another one for the Government. Different reporting formats require additional time to prepare. With UNDP reporting requirements, the Project produces quarterly and annual reports (quarterly report in Excel file and annual report is PIR). The Vietnam GoV reporting requirements ask for the same in parallel, quarterly and annual reports using separate templates which are regulated by Decree No. 16/2016/ND-CP and Circular No. 12/2016/TT-BKHDDT and are applied to all projects in Vietnam. Besides that, the Project produces the annual report for the Project Steering Committee.


Tag: Communication Policies & Procedures Country Government

14.

4.3.7 Communications

The Project uses different communication channels through newspaper articles, leaflets, calendar books, workshops and study tour and shares products widely and results of study tour, workshops to relevant interested people. The PMU decided not to develop a specific project website as it was considered that when the Project finishes nobody will continue maintaining it, but the project produces regular articles for the website “Energy Saving” of the Ministry of Construction http://tietkiemnangluong.xaydung.gov.vn/project-t263.html. And MOC will continue operating this website beyond the EECB termination. Thus, ownership and sustainable dissemination will be likely higher than running a separate project website; however, the Project will need to increase the dissemination activities and frequency of information provided to the public and specific stakeholder groups throughout the remaining duration.


Tag: Energy Environment Policy Communication Awareness raising

15.

4.4 Impact and Sustainability

Project impacts Taking into consideration the specific situation of the country and its recent political will to foster energy efficiency measures to evolve in and around the building sector, as of the MTR, the Project with its envisaged targets and outputs has a good prospect to create a significant impact in the country. The building sector in Viet Nam is considered very relevant in terms of energy consumption due to its high dynamic development and growth. This sector offers also large and cost-effective opportunities to improve its energy efficiency in new constructions but also within existing building refurbishments (similar to other countries). Covering a wide range of new and existing high-rise building types, the Project anticipates bridging policy implementation and technical best practices through some of its major outcomes: ? Improvement and enforcement of EE building code ? Promotion of energy audit, energy management, and investment opportunities in new and existing buildings ? Demonstration of best practices in new building design and renovations. ? Education and outreach to build replications. Without the Project, improvements in building energy performance will only come slowly in pace with partial enforcement of the revised EEBC and phasing out of obsolete technologies, rather than being at the forefront of technology development. This is largely a consequence of the fact that without awareness/knowledge of the cost implications of design and construction of low EE buildings, without access to attractive and reliable financing to build better, without effective implementation of the revised EEBC, and without supportive networks of information, incentives and expertise, there is little pressure on the market to move faster than a least-buildingconstruction-cost philosophy would demand.


Tag: Energy Environment Policy Impact Sustainability Awareness raising

16.

Prospects of Sustainability

Sustainability is generally considered to be the likelihood of continued benefits after the Project ends. The Project is designed to have a balanced mix of capacity building and enabling environment activities tailormade to the specific market and regulatory environment in Viet Nam. Such balanced mix of activities is expected to promote the enforcement of the revised EEBC and the application of building EE technologies. Replication is considered to be an integral component of the project design as the expected energy savings from the application of EE technologies in the building sector in Viet Nam rely on the replication of the relevant Project activities. The purpose of reviewing the sustainability of the Project during the Midterm Review is to set the stage for the Terminal Evaluation, during which sustainability will be rated by each of the four GEF categories of sustainability (financial, socio-economic, institutional framework and governance, and environmental). Consequently, the assessment of sustainability at the midterm considers the risks that are likely to affect the continuation of project outcomes. The MTR Consultant has reviewed the risks identified in the Project Document, Inception Report, PIRs and the ATLAS Risk log and evaluated whether the risk ratings applied are appropriate and up to date. In addition, the MTR Consultant has started discussions with the Project Team to gear their thinking towards sustainability risk factors, as well as opportunities to build risk management into the project plan in a thorough manner throughout the remaining project period. The following table provides a summary of the updated risk analysis how it has been evaluated by the MTR Consultant.


Tag: Energy Sustainability Global Environment Facility fund Risk Management Capacity Building

17.

Outstanding risks

Some of risks mentioned above are still valid; the most obvious risks the Project faces currently (at the MTR stage) are related to: ? Policy framework and regulations for EE buildings not fully implemented within the project lifetime ? Complementary efforts to focus on EE building replications in mainly new high-rise buildings are not achieved and thus targeted GHG emission reductions are not achieved ? Knowledge and capacity requirements for municipal specialists remain low ? Institutional embodiment: ensure that materials/tools developed under the Project, e.g. database of EE building materials, SEC review, etc. will be regularly updated.


Tag: Emission Reduction Energy Environment Policy Civic Engagement Rule of law Risk Management Awareness raising

18.

Achievement of GHG emission reductions

The project objective is to reduce energy consumption and associated GHG emissions in the Vietnamese building sector. The Project Document provides the key assumptions used for the calculation of the project direct and indirect CO2 emission reductions; they are summarised below: ? Direct Emission Reductions: The Project is according to the ProDoc supposed to support the implementation of up to 16 demonstration buildings. As a result of these activities, direct emission reductions totalling 37,680 tons of CO2eq by the EOP and about 236,680 tons of CO2eq are to be achieved over 10 years after the project termination. Estimated realized GHG savings at MTR stage are about 11,207 t/a from demo activities (initial target: 8,473 t/a), which is highly satisfactory. However, GHG emission cuts from building code and financial components are not yet accountable (no monitoring results available so far), which takes time to materialize. ? Indirect Emissions Reductions: Using the GEF top-down (TD) methodology, indirect emission reductions from new buildings constructions attributable to the Project have been estimated at 246,353 tons of CO2eq calculated for the period 2016-2029 using a GEF causality factor 2 (40% - the GEF contribution is modest, and substantial). For the demonstration and diffusion module and the financial instrument module, a replication factor of 2 has been applied, based on the consideration that while the Project can offer profitable EE implementation models, the replications in most cases will still be restricted to availability of funds and technical capacity of the project owners.  


Tag: Emission Reduction Energy Environment Policy Global Environment Facility fund Monitoring and Evaluation

Recommendations
1

Recommendation 1: Focus on using time and resources efficiently for the remaining project period

? The Project Log frame requires adaptations and rephrasing of some of the project indicators (refer to details provided in chapter 4.1.2) ? In the long-term, a mandatory building EE legislation and enforcement of the building code and other laws and regulations is crucial to ensure the long-term sustainability of the project results. Therefore, a main focus shall be on the finalization and delivery of outstanding activities considering the enforcement of the new building code requirements and capacity building among building professionals and public administration (see recommendation 2). ? Capacity building and training activities concerning EE in buildings need to properly address the demand for building practitioners on the one hand and public administration involved in building design approvals and construction permits. Topics concerned: (i) compliance with new codes and standards developed, (ii) methods for calculating building energy performance, and best practices in energy-efficient building design, (iii) including integrated building design into standard design practices, (iv) integration of low-cost and no-cost energy efficiency principles into building design, (v) using tools and measurements in the design of buildings, and (vi) understanding lessons learned and best experience available internationally with a special focus on the climatic conditions similar to Viet Nam. Training materials shall be developed and made available for wider use. ? The initially foreseen activities concerning the introduction of financing mechanisms in the form of ESCO models seem not appropriate under this EECB Project. ESCO model approach is a mechanism more relevant for rehabilitation and refurbishment of buildings, while this project focuses mainly on the segment of new buildings and appropriate enforcement of the new EE building code. MTR Consultant therefore recommends to remove activities concerning the ESCO mechanism and rather use the project resources on highlighting non-financial incentives and their application in the framework of the responsibilities within MOC/DOC.

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Recommendation 2: Legislation and policy framework has been developing with the support of the Project, but focus is needed to ensure enforcement and financial support in the long-term.

? Delivering key movement on Outcome #1 is one of the main targets of this Project. An effective implementation and enforcement mechanism to apply the new QCVN 09:2017 building code on the construction market will be therefore the key for success. In fact, the new code will require a steady and continuous development and implementation of by-laws, regulations and procedures and the relevant public bodies to be assigned with specific tasks: building energy audits to update SEC and EE benchmarks in order to be able to classify buildings according to consumption profiles (e.g. introducing building energy passports), include building materials and equipment labelling and certification, enforce the building inspection and design approval, etc. ? In this context the “Roadmap and Action Plans for EE Promotion in Vietnam’s Building Sector” (version 2018 developed under EECB) requires an update and including the new requirements of the building code QCVN 09:2017 and aligning with National Energy Efficiency Program targets. ? Financial mechanisms are considered a bottleneck for promoting EE concepts in the building and infrastructure sectors. Considering the type of building and related investments into energy efficiency international experience shows that financial incentives may be appropriate mainly in the refurbishment of existing buildings, whereas in new building developments, with appropriate building energy codes enforcement and compliance checking mechanisms in place, financial incentives are not needed, since the building developers will reflect the additional costs of EE in the price of the buildings, and users will benefit from lower energy bills. Since the project is mainly about building energy codes (for new building developments), financial incentives are not considered the main priority – and even if the EECB Project would allow achieving greater impact with a financial incentive mechanism in the long term, it is under current budget limitations and the reaching of the public debt ceiling (65% of the GDP) unrealistic that such mechanism could be implemented within the coming years.

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Recommendation 3: Ensure that institutional bodies take energy efficiency forward and market awareness is created in the longer term 

? A mandatory building EE policy framework for future policy actions that considers minimum energy performance standards is required in Viet Nam (similar to other countries in the region) following international best practice. To increase the impact of this Project for future benefits, the Project should provide the grounds as much as possible for continuous enforcement and implementation of the EE policy framework in Viet Nam. ? Enforcement of the new building code and other (by-)laws and regulations will be required and thus public bodies to be created/assigned with specific tasks; although this development is at very early stage in Viet Nam so far and will need more time and efforts to create basic awareness among governmental and institutional stakeholders, building design and construction experts acting on the market, and the general public (mainly residents and users of buildings). Challenges laying ahead are related to the adoption of appropriate energy auditing and the introduction of building energy passport mechanisms, energy monitoring and performancebased billing systems, building materials and equipment labelling/certification, building inspection and design approval mechanisms. ? Basic assessments and information on the energy use in buildings (not only residential, but also public and private service buildings) will be required to better understand the quantitative and qualitative use of energy in buildings across different building types (and also old and new buildings). The level of (statistical) information is quite weak and initial baseline assessments are being conducted within the Project through a set of energy audits in selected buildings; without such basic analysis, strategies to utilize the potential of energy efficiency conditions in the Vietnamese building sector cannot be elaborated, since firm information on the actual quality of buildings in would be factually not available. ? Since the Project is supporting this process by providing basic energy audit, building assessments and studies (e.g. such as indicators and benchmarks on energy efficiency in the building sector available through energy audits and simple energy management methods introduced), institutional building for developing a country building statistics and information base for building energy consumption in Viet Nam should be envisaged in the longer term, since it is understood that such institutions do not exist currently.  

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Recommendation 4: Introduce a higher level of public outreach and institutionalise public awareness measures in the frame of the country’s policy framework 

? The Project must improve the current level of information dissemination and public awareness creation activities throughout the remaining project period. An update of the Project’s communication strategy and plan is required. Considering the limited possibilities to publish project results and achievements through own channels (such as project website, which is not deemed effective due to low general visibility), co-operation should be sought with national media and it should be possible to share several substantial success stories and provide specific awareness measures throughout the remaining project period (e.g. among building developers, building users). This plan also will make the EECB project in Viet Nam more consistent with other projects throughout the region, which are already actively documenting their projects’ successes via publications, internet, and mass media. ? Dissemination of results and benefits achieved should be assured by “Story telling” to visualize best-practice examples in buildings. ? What is missing in the country is to “institutionalize energy efficiency awareness” through government stakeholders and specific agencies – e.g. link up with activities provided through the existing ECCs or supporting relevant associations (e.g. VGBC). The Project shall emphasize to build a country-wide “Knowledge Center (KC) for Energy Efficiency in Buildings” by providing all information, reports, tools, training materials, publications, guidelines developed by the Project and make them publicly available online. MOC should maintain to be the KC for EE topics in the future. ? In order to the increase the public attention towards energy efficiency in buildings, the Project may explore the opportunity with cities in launching specific calls for innovative projects in new urban developments. Possibilities shall be sought to launch e.g. architecture competitions where green building concepts will be included in the competition requirements or establishing green city development areas. Green Cities strive to build a better and more sustainable future for urban spaces and their residents by identifying, prioritizing and connecting cities’ environmental challenges with sustainable infrastructure investments and policy measures. ? Furthermore, in terms of networking and know-how exchange, the Project shall establish exchange of experience and information through the UNDP network and engage with other on-going international projects supporting building EE in the region (e.g. UNDP-GEF Projects being implemented on Buildings Energy Efficiency in Thailand, India or Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Armenia), as well as projects supported by World Bank/IFC, Asian Development Bank or others.

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Recommendation 5: Monitoring & evaluation of GHG mitigation levels and project impacts to be reviewed

? Although the activities are to a large extent not finished and real impact can hardly be measured it is moderately likely that the Project will by the end reach valuable results in terms of direct GHG emission reduction benefits. ? It is tough highly recommended that relevant criteria will be considered for a GHG monitoring for the remaining duration of the Project and should thus be integrated into the overall monitoring activities under outcome 3. So far, the PMU is doing well in monitoring the direct GHG impact of demonstration buildings that are receiving technical assistance through the Project; a weak point remains the monitoring of indirect GHG emission reductions, since required data (either from national energy statistics or specific building statistics, e.g. level of building construction, refurbishments, building energy consumption, etc.) is hardly available and requires high efforts for collection. ? Finally, a “Lessons-learned report” shall be developed towards EOP summarizing the achievements and challenges the Project has overcome in regard to EE in buildings in Viet Nam, and outstanding support that is required for policies (enforcement), technologies and information sources to be replicated in the area of EE in buildings in future (follow-up projects).

1. Recommendation:

Recommendation 1: Focus on using time and resources efficiently for the remaining project period

? The Project Log frame requires adaptations and rephrasing of some of the project indicators (refer to details provided in chapter 4.1.2) ? In the long-term, a mandatory building EE legislation and enforcement of the building code and other laws and regulations is crucial to ensure the long-term sustainability of the project results. Therefore, a main focus shall be on the finalization and delivery of outstanding activities considering the enforcement of the new building code requirements and capacity building among building professionals and public administration (see recommendation 2). ? Capacity building and training activities concerning EE in buildings need to properly address the demand for building practitioners on the one hand and public administration involved in building design approvals and construction permits. Topics concerned: (i) compliance with new codes and standards developed, (ii) methods for calculating building energy performance, and best practices in energy-efficient building design, (iii) including integrated building design into standard design practices, (iv) integration of low-cost and no-cost energy efficiency principles into building design, (v) using tools and measurements in the design of buildings, and (vi) understanding lessons learned and best experience available internationally with a special focus on the climatic conditions similar to Viet Nam. Training materials shall be developed and made available for wider use. ? The initially foreseen activities concerning the introduction of financing mechanisms in the form of ESCO models seem not appropriate under this EECB Project. ESCO model approach is a mechanism more relevant for rehabilitation and refurbishment of buildings, while this project focuses mainly on the segment of new buildings and appropriate enforcement of the new EE building code. MTR Consultant therefore recommends to remove activities concerning the ESCO mechanism and rather use the project resources on highlighting non-financial incentives and their application in the framework of the responsibilities within MOC/DOC.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/10/31] [Last Updated: 2021/02/02]

Agreed and implemented

Based on the recommendation by the reviewers and in consultation with the project partners and the RTA, the project has revised the log-frame by omitting 6 indicators which are not relevant to the project’s impacts or are hardly measurable without conducting large scale studies that the project cannot afford. Of the 15 remaining indicators, 5 indicators are reformulated to better link the project results with expected outcomes and objectives. The most updated log-frame was approved by the RTA.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Revise the project results framework and update the project annual targets
[Added: 2019/10/31]
UNDP programme officer PMU Project Manager 2019/07 Completed
2. Recommendation:

Recommendation 2: Legislation and policy framework has been developing with the support of the Project, but focus is needed to ensure enforcement and financial support in the long-term.

? Delivering key movement on Outcome #1 is one of the main targets of this Project. An effective implementation and enforcement mechanism to apply the new QCVN 09:2017 building code on the construction market will be therefore the key for success. In fact, the new code will require a steady and continuous development and implementation of by-laws, regulations and procedures and the relevant public bodies to be assigned with specific tasks: building energy audits to update SEC and EE benchmarks in order to be able to classify buildings according to consumption profiles (e.g. introducing building energy passports), include building materials and equipment labelling and certification, enforce the building inspection and design approval, etc. ? In this context the “Roadmap and Action Plans for EE Promotion in Vietnam’s Building Sector” (version 2018 developed under EECB) requires an update and including the new requirements of the building code QCVN 09:2017 and aligning with National Energy Efficiency Program targets. ? Financial mechanisms are considered a bottleneck for promoting EE concepts in the building and infrastructure sectors. Considering the type of building and related investments into energy efficiency international experience shows that financial incentives may be appropriate mainly in the refurbishment of existing buildings, whereas in new building developments, with appropriate building energy codes enforcement and compliance checking mechanisms in place, financial incentives are not needed, since the building developers will reflect the additional costs of EE in the price of the buildings, and users will benefit from lower energy bills. Since the project is mainly about building energy codes (for new building developments), financial incentives are not considered the main priority – and even if the EECB Project would allow achieving greater impact with a financial incentive mechanism in the long term, it is under current budget limitations and the reaching of the public debt ceiling (65% of the GDP) unrealistic that such mechanism could be implemented within the coming years.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/02]

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

Recommendation 3: Ensure that institutional bodies take energy efficiency forward and market awareness is created in the longer term 

? A mandatory building EE policy framework for future policy actions that considers minimum energy performance standards is required in Viet Nam (similar to other countries in the region) following international best practice. To increase the impact of this Project for future benefits, the Project should provide the grounds as much as possible for continuous enforcement and implementation of the EE policy framework in Viet Nam. ? Enforcement of the new building code and other (by-)laws and regulations will be required and thus public bodies to be created/assigned with specific tasks; although this development is at very early stage in Viet Nam so far and will need more time and efforts to create basic awareness among governmental and institutional stakeholders, building design and construction experts acting on the market, and the general public (mainly residents and users of buildings). Challenges laying ahead are related to the adoption of appropriate energy auditing and the introduction of building energy passport mechanisms, energy monitoring and performancebased billing systems, building materials and equipment labelling/certification, building inspection and design approval mechanisms. ? Basic assessments and information on the energy use in buildings (not only residential, but also public and private service buildings) will be required to better understand the quantitative and qualitative use of energy in buildings across different building types (and also old and new buildings). The level of (statistical) information is quite weak and initial baseline assessments are being conducted within the Project through a set of energy audits in selected buildings; without such basic analysis, strategies to utilize the potential of energy efficiency conditions in the Vietnamese building sector cannot be elaborated, since firm information on the actual quality of buildings in would be factually not available. ? Since the Project is supporting this process by providing basic energy audit, building assessments and studies (e.g. such as indicators and benchmarks on energy efficiency in the building sector available through energy audits and simple energy management methods introduced), institutional building for developing a country building statistics and information base for building energy consumption in Viet Nam should be envisaged in the longer term, since it is understood that such institutions do not exist currently.  

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/02]

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

Recommendation 4: Introduce a higher level of public outreach and institutionalise public awareness measures in the frame of the country’s policy framework 

? The Project must improve the current level of information dissemination and public awareness creation activities throughout the remaining project period. An update of the Project’s communication strategy and plan is required. Considering the limited possibilities to publish project results and achievements through own channels (such as project website, which is not deemed effective due to low general visibility), co-operation should be sought with national media and it should be possible to share several substantial success stories and provide specific awareness measures throughout the remaining project period (e.g. among building developers, building users). This plan also will make the EECB project in Viet Nam more consistent with other projects throughout the region, which are already actively documenting their projects’ successes via publications, internet, and mass media. ? Dissemination of results and benefits achieved should be assured by “Story telling” to visualize best-practice examples in buildings. ? What is missing in the country is to “institutionalize energy efficiency awareness” through government stakeholders and specific agencies – e.g. link up with activities provided through the existing ECCs or supporting relevant associations (e.g. VGBC). The Project shall emphasize to build a country-wide “Knowledge Center (KC) for Energy Efficiency in Buildings” by providing all information, reports, tools, training materials, publications, guidelines developed by the Project and make them publicly available online. MOC should maintain to be the KC for EE topics in the future. ? In order to the increase the public attention towards energy efficiency in buildings, the Project may explore the opportunity with cities in launching specific calls for innovative projects in new urban developments. Possibilities shall be sought to launch e.g. architecture competitions where green building concepts will be included in the competition requirements or establishing green city development areas. Green Cities strive to build a better and more sustainable future for urban spaces and their residents by identifying, prioritizing and connecting cities’ environmental challenges with sustainable infrastructure investments and policy measures. ? Furthermore, in terms of networking and know-how exchange, the Project shall establish exchange of experience and information through the UNDP network and engage with other on-going international projects supporting building EE in the region (e.g. UNDP-GEF Projects being implemented on Buildings Energy Efficiency in Thailand, India or Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Armenia), as well as projects supported by World Bank/IFC, Asian Development Bank or others.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/02]

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

Recommendation 5: Monitoring & evaluation of GHG mitigation levels and project impacts to be reviewed

? Although the activities are to a large extent not finished and real impact can hardly be measured it is moderately likely that the Project will by the end reach valuable results in terms of direct GHG emission reduction benefits. ? It is tough highly recommended that relevant criteria will be considered for a GHG monitoring for the remaining duration of the Project and should thus be integrated into the overall monitoring activities under outcome 3. So far, the PMU is doing well in monitoring the direct GHG impact of demonstration buildings that are receiving technical assistance through the Project; a weak point remains the monitoring of indirect GHG emission reductions, since required data (either from national energy statistics or specific building statistics, e.g. level of building construction, refurbishments, building energy consumption, etc.) is hardly available and requires high efforts for collection. ? Finally, a “Lessons-learned report” shall be developed towards EOP summarizing the achievements and challenges the Project has overcome in regard to EE in buildings in Viet Nam, and outstanding support that is required for policies (enforcement), technologies and information sources to be replicated in the area of EE in buildings in future (follow-up projects).

Management Response: [Added: 2021/02/02]

Key Actions:

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