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ECAP 32 Workshop: Paving the Way for Energy Efficiency and Carbon Neutrality in ASEAN Buildings

09 January 2024

The ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) and Energy Conservation Centre of Japan (ECCJ) jointly organised the Energy Conservation Workshop under ASEAN Japan Energy Efficiency Partnership Programme (ECAP 32) on 11-15 December 2023 in Tokyo, Japan. Generously funded by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan, the workshop brought together representatives from seven ASEAN Member States (AMS)—Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Indonesia also participated by contributing to the country presentation through a virtual platform, ensuring comprehensive regional representation and engagement in the event’s proceedings.

The ECAP32 workshop was designed with the primary goal of enhancing energy efficiency and conservation (EE&C) in the building sector across the AMS. This initiative is a cornerstone in the collective journey towards achieving Carbon Neutrality, a goal that is becoming increasingly critical in the face of global climate change challenges.

One of the key objectives of the workshop was to immerse participants in the intricacies of Japanese policies and measures related to energy conservations. This included a deep dive into the establishment and ongoing refinement of Building Energy Codes (BEC), which are essential for setting benchmarks and ensuring compliance in energy-efficient building practices.

Furthermore, the workshop served as a knowledge-sharing platform, where participants were introduced to the latest policies and technologies that support the dissemination and promotion of Zero Energy Buildings (ZEB). This was facilitated through a strategic collaboration with the Japanese Business Alliance for Smart Energy Worldwide (JASE-W), an organization at the forefront of smart energy solutions.

In addition to learning and sharing, the workshop also aimed to drive innovation within the ASEAN Energy Award framework. Participants were encouraged to propose enhancements to the “ZEB Ready Subcategory” of the EE&C building category. This move is expected to stimulate a greater number of ZEB-ready case entries, showcasing the region’s commitment to energy-efficient building designs.

To enhance the ASEAN Energy Awards, a small group discussion yielded several key recommendations. Firstly, it was suggested that the baseline periods for energy assessments should be updated to reflect current standards. Additionally, the categories for green buildings could be revised to ensure they are comprehensive and relevant.

The qualifications of judges overseeing the awards were also considered, with a recommendation to strengthen these to ensure a high level of expertise and impartiality. To promote the concept of Zero Emission Buildings (ZEB), it was advised to increase awareness and encourage wider adoption across the region.

To align with international best practices, it was proposed that ZEB requirements should be in sync with ISO standards. Moreover, there was a call for specifying the size and type of buildings eligible for the awards to ensure a fair comparison. A scoring system based on the extent of energy reduction achieved by participants was also recommended to provide a quantitative measure of performance.

Lastly, the group discussed the need for developing financial mechanisms that would incentivize the adoption of ZEB practices, making it more attractive for stakeholders to invest in sustainable building technologies and designs.



During the ECAP 32 workshop, participants had the opportunity to engage in two site visits that provided practical insights into Japan’s approach to energy efficiency and conservation in the building sector.

The first site visit at Hareza Tower allowed participants to observe the real-world application of Japan’s regulatory systems and standards for energy efficiency. This visit was crucial in demonstrating how high-rise buildings can adhere to and comply with energy efficiency requirements, offering a tangible example of the policies discussed during the workshop sessions.

The second site visit focused on retrofitted Zero Energy Buildings (ZEB) in TAISEI CORPORATION’s Yokohama Branch. Participants were given a first-hand look at the design, technology, and retrofitting and operational strategies that enable buildings to achieve net-zero energy consumption, including innovative materials and technologies to enhance energy efficiency, such as T-Green Multi solar, T-Green radiant Duct, T-wood space light, T-LED DUV light, and T-Green Blind, a key area of interest for the workshop.

These site visits were not only educational but also inspirational, as they highlighted the successful implementation of energy conservation practices in Japan. They served as a valuable opportunity for participants to directly observe and learn from Japan’s experience, which could then be adapted and applied to the context of ASEAN Member States in their pursuit of energy efficiency and carbon neutrality in the building sector.

Moving forward, to advance ZEB promotion in the ASEAN region, it is recommended to adopt a comprehensive approach, drawing lessons from Japan’s successful initiatives. This involves applying Japanese concepts to AMS, with a specific focus on achieving carbon neutrality. Establishing an online platform and tools is crucial for sharing knowledge and experiences related to ZEB implementation, fostering a collaborative environment.

Capacity building is another crucial aspect, requiring ZEB planners and owners to acquire necessary skills and knowledge. This can be achieved through targeted training programs and workshops. Additionally, developing affordable ZEB strategies is essential, facilitated through strategic partnerships with the private sector.

Furthermore, ASEAN countries are encouraged to participate in Carbon Neutral Diagnosis Projects, leveraging expertise from the Japanese model for local application. These projects assess current energy usage and plan for a carbon-neutral future.

The workshop’s conclusion highlighted the importance of improving ZEB promotion, suggesting a focus on utilizing web-based professional tools for building evaluation in the upcoming program year. By following these insights, ASEAN countries can set a clear path towards energy conservation and sustainability, aligning with global efforts to combat climate change. ASEAN participants expressed sincere thanks to ECCJ and METI of Japan, acknowledging the valuable insights gained from the ECAP32 Workshop on ZEB promotion in the region. Participants learned about regulations, supportive measures, and challenges faced in pursuing ZEB, with discussions, lectures, and site visits enhancing their understanding of energy efficiency and conservation strategies.