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Mid-term evaluation of energy efficiency in commercial building project (00084022)
Commissioning Unit: Viet Nam
Evaluation Plan: 2017-2021
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 07/2019
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Viet Nam
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
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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