The real estate sector in Bandung is facing new challenges in meeting consumers’ demands and the need for a balanced water supply following increased public awareness of the environment.
The chairman of the West Java branch of the Indonesian Real Estate Developers Association (REI), Hari Raharta Sudrajat, said that full adoption of the green building concept remained hard due to various factors. He added, however, that many developers were now able to introduce improvements by making the environment a key point in planning.
So far, he said, developers had not paid much attention to the environment, but they were designing housing estates that were free from landslides and floods and were earthquake-resistant.
“There have been some improvements. They also consider trees and absorption wells. Some of them have prepared absorption wells to support the availability of water,” Hari told The Jakarta Post in Bandung on Wednesday.
Hari said almost of all of the 100 housing developers in Banding took environmental issues into account when planning and managing housing estates.
“There are very few, however, who really implement green designs,” he said.
Dense population and damaged forests in the northern part of the mountainous area and the southern part of the city have affected the population in both dry and rainy seasons.
Environment Ministry data show that damage to the environment in 2003 increased the rain runoff coefficient in Bandung. In the 1960s, the percentage of precipitation that become runoff was 40 percent, with the remaining 60 percent being reserved for the dry season. However, runoff coefficient is currently 80 percent.
Reduction in groundwater levels ranged around 0.12-8.76 meters per year at an intermediate well of 40-150 meters. In a deep well under 150 meters below the groundwater level, the decrease can reach 1.44-12.48 meters per year.
Consequently, there are floods during the wet season and droughts during the dry season.
Hari, who is also the president of Margahayuland, a developer in Bandung, said the condition had led residents and developers to do something to make balance out the water supply.
The concept of green living has been implemented by PT Belaputera Intiland, which since 2000 has marketed Kota Baru Parahyangan west of Bandung. Raymond Hadipranoto, marketing manager of Belaputera Intiland, said his company took into account green issues in the planning and management of the 1,250-hectare housing estate.
Besides planting trees such as Sengon Laut (Albazia falcata), trembesi (rain tree) and bamboo, the management of Kota Baru Parahyangan strictly manages household waste. Every house and building is equipped with a waste water management installation with biofilm to reduce the level of pollution in the rivers.
Clean water management is also coordinated by the developer by providing a well to meet the needs of the residents in every cluster. The residents are not allowed to establish their own wells.
To increase the capacity of soil infiltration, the management has also created a series of absorption wells in open spaces that currently total 10,000.
There is a monthly fee for maintaining the environment, in which residents pay Rp 1,000 to Rp 1,300 per square meter for the collection of garbage, which is sorted and organic waste is converted into compost. From about 10 cubic meters of compost produced daily from the waste of some 10,000 inhabitants, Rp 60 million is saved annually in fertilizer costs for plants in the housing estate.
The non-organic waste is managed by local people and has become a social activity benefiting the neighboring community.
Strict environmental management is also conducted by Dago Pakar Resort, a real estate developer located in northern Bandung.
Herry Santoso, the marketing director of PT Bandung Pakar, said his company had forged an agreement with West Java provincial government to keep the developed area no more than 15 percent of the total area.
“For housing, only 20 to 30 percent of a plot can be developed while the remainder must be kept green. To compensate for constructed plots, we have to build three to six absorption wells in each house,” he said.
At his housing estate, developed since 1997, Herry said, clean water management was arranged by the developer, utilizing the Cihuni water source, which is managed and then supplied to all residences.
None of the 100 houses in the housing estate is allowed to establish its own absorption well.
”We also forbid private swimming pools to reduce water usage. Residents can only swim at the pool at the clubhouse built by the developer.”
He added that the Dago Pakar Resort had managed the environment well and its residents had agreed to protect the environment.