(IN PHOTO: JEG
Tower is one of the few LEED pre-certified Silver buildings in
With an increasing
amount of developments, going green it seems the Philippines is
turning over a new leaf. This new building trend challenges the
confinements of its reputation for having the second most dangerous
indoor air pollution in Asia.
Yet, a growing
awareness surrounding climate change coupled with the creation of
the Philippines Green Council, and initiatives such as Go Green in
the City, has seen more companies take action to enhance
environmental sustainability. In recent years, the real estate
market has seen an increasing number of corporations to become more
environmentally conscious and are now adopting greener
Metro Manila, real estate developers such as, Ayala Land, SM, and
Megaworld, have adopted eco-friendly programs, including green
building and construction that meets the standards of recognized
accreditation bodies, such as the Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design (LEED.)
at the forefront of Filipino real estate, it's time to ask the
appropriate questions building on the minds of developers and
landlords. Questions such as whether green features add value to a
property and which real estate markets benefit the most?
Credibility: LEED is a good marketing label as its
certification adds to a construction company's
In answer to these
questions, KMC's Assistant Manager for Landlord Representation and
certified LEED AP, Michael Glindro says: "Going green is not just a
good marketing label for companies, it's a triple bottom line as it
positively affects companies both economically and environmentally
while also benefiting stakeholders."
Financially: Green features have the ability to cut an
The biggest benefit
of LEED when focusing on office developments is that green features
not only improve the energy performance of a building and lessen
its impact on the environment; they also benefit the site's
It's worth noting
that Glindro's employer, KMC Savills, is based in the Sun Life
Centre. A building which not only uses double-glazed windows to
block heat and let in natural light but also boasts of motion
sensors to help regulate electricity consumption. It also features
carbon dioxide sensors which drive out pollutants to maintain the
quality of indoor air and rainwater harvesting methods that retain,
store, and treat water for reuse.
Environmental: LEED is sustainability-focused and thus,
lessens the impact of a development on the
Glindro, these are the features that more office sites are using to
cut costs and environmental impact. He claims the first course of
action when constructing an eco-friendly complex is to decipher
what kind of certification level to aim for and to adopt a
sustainable, holistic approach when sourcing materials to ensure
"If you go for a
LEED Platinum or Gold accreditation, using green materials almost
assures you that your building is futureproofed for a very long
time. Especially when compared to the other buildings that may look
good now, but after some time, will start to
LEED builds a company's reputation positively for being
eco-friendly and forward thinking.
While it may be
true that the more green features development dons, the more
expensive it is to build. However, developers have not shied away
from eco-friendly projects in recent years. According to the LEED
directory, there are currently 65 certified buildings in the
Philippines and counting.
consists of commercial and office buildings, restaurants,
hospitals, and hotel estates as well as schools and museums.
Clearly, forward-thinking developers have noted the value of green
construction in the country.
In contrast, the
residential market only features one LEED-accredited property, Arya
Residences. The two-tower condominium complex is the only one of
its kind to be awarded a LEED Gold certification back in 2016, and
according to Glindro, it may be the only one for a while.
He said "Although
condominium renters enjoy cheaper bills and greener spaces in
eco-friendly suburban developments, residential neighborhoods are
unlikely to grow in popularity anytime soon due to production
costs. Developers usually try to make as much profit as they can.
Becoming LEED certified and designing a green project will take
quite a chunk out of their budget margins."
While eco-homes may
have a lot of work ahead in the plight to go green, retail rather
than residential could be the way forward for sustainability
development. With a large domestic consumer market and retail sales
growth staying on trend malls are not only being built to match
demand but with sustainability in mind.
The Philippines has
already seen a lot of malls becoming green conscious with many
commercial spaces installing solar power on their roofs, and
greener areas being created.
This summer saw
mall giants such as SM Aura Premier launch their "Lush" Initiative
- a green movement that raises awareness surrounding environmental
issues and implements their intentions for a zero-waste culture.
Moreover, the Lush Initiative introduces Manila's first fully
operational herb garden situated inside a mall called the "Boxes of
SM Aura Premier was
the first mall in Manila to receive the LEED gold certification for
using almost a third of green materials
throughout construction. Glindro predicts this could become a
trend in the future as retail tenants look to cut the costs of
managing their sites, which can be substantially expensive to
operate due to electrical demands.
proper planning, green homes can be built for the same cost as
He said: "LEED has
succeeded in adding value to office sites as an increasing amount
of developers and occupants are discovering the benefits of green
features. Unfortunately, when it comes to the residential market
going green is more of a second thought and isn't a top
priority. But in recent years retail is emerging as the future
of sustainable, eco-friendly building. I think it's the next step
Reach out to
Michael Glindro for more information surrounding LEED certification
and the benefits of going green. Contact (02) 403-5519 or send an
email to email@example.com.