Green buildings and the law in Taiwan
The development of green building requires a variety of effective and successive promotion efforts to accomplish an internalized transformation of industry and society. From the Earth Summit 1992 in Rio de Janeiro to the recent UN Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen, international summits not only frequently raised the international community’s awareness of the crucial challenges of global climate change but also took actions to pursue sustainability during the past two decades. Following such a global pulse and confronting its own environmental predicaments, the government of Taiwan actively adopted concrete steps to come up with a series of policy instruments and implementation strategies for sustainable development. The concept of green building and its corresponding promotion programmes were thus initiated and have been incorporated into the national development plan as one of the most effective promotion measures in forging a better living environment. In order to address the topic of green buildings and the law, the chapter will be organized along the lines of the evolution of green building development in Taiwan. The entire evolution can be divided into three phases: technology research, policy promotion, and regulation implementation. The three ongoing stages can also form a feedback system so that the regulation of green building can meet the latest developments of green building technology. The “research” stage is typically aimed at identifying an adequate green building definition, to establish its assessment mechanism, and to develop relevant techniques. The “policy” stage is to promote the concept of green building, to facilitate the adoption of green building design with subsidies or incentives, and to conduct demonstrative projects that industry may follow. The “regulation” stage is to comprehensively implement green buildings through building regulations that industry must follow. Based on these three stages, the chapter is divided into three sections, green building research, green building policy, green buildings and the law, and followed by a concise conclusion.