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As countries all over the world constantly experience shifting climate patterns and other effects of global warming, encouraging sustainability in all industries has become a priority among government leaders. In the Philippines, the Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC) together with the Department of Energy (DOE), funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), have launched the Philippine Energy Efficiency Project (PEEP) aimed at promoting energy efficiency and sustainability through different projects in commercial, residential, and public sectors. Part of this initiative is the DOE's adoption of the Building for Ecologically Responsive Design (BERDE) Green Building Rating System to help assess the sustainability performance of real estate projects beyond the existing regulations of building and environmental laws and industry standards. DOE and PHILGBC are inviting project developers to register and to undergo the BERDE assessment and certification to be recognized under the Philippine Energy Efficiency Project: Efficient Building Initiative  (PEEP-EBI).

What is BERDE?
The BERDE Green Building Rating System for commercial buildings is designed to guide owners, developers, and all stakeholders involved in constructing, managing, and developing buildings. Developed by PHILGBC, this system aims to encourage the creation of more environmentally sustainable buildings that have less energy and water consumption as well as discourage creation of landfill waste and carbon dioxide emissions and conserve and restore natural resources.

How does the BERDE Green Building Rating System work?
To qualify, the project should address environmental issues when implementing all project phases while complying with existing national and local laws. It measures, evaluates, and verifies the following categories:

Management: Focused on the implementation of the projects from the design phase to construction, post-construction, and commissioning phases. 
Land Use and Ecology: Checks the site condition and process of development during the certification period.
Water: Assesses the reduction of potable water consumption and wastewater discharge.
Energy: Assesses the reduction of energy consumption in the building design, equipment used, etc.
Transportation: Focused on the project's use of alternative transportation and reduction of circulation to reduce emissions and use of energy.
Indoor Environment Quality: Checks the building's features and lighting designs to ensure human comfort as well as good lighting, thermal views, levels, and acoustics.
Materials: Inspects the hazardous materials and substances used in the project as well as the use of recycling processes and reduction of carbon emissions in materials.
Emissions: Audits the amount of carbon substances, leaks, and other emissions produced by the building as well as the efforts created to reduce and prevent further emission.
Waste: Deals with the management of waste as well as recycling plan in the duration of the building development.
Heritage Conservation: This category checks the conservation of the historic and heritage sites and preservation of the country's culture.
Innovation: This category rewards those who go beyond the rating scheme, such as companies who introduce new technology, design, and processes that will help in boosting the environmental sustainability of the building.

Advantages of Locating or Working in a Green Building

  • Reduced operating costs
  • Improved productivity among employees
  • Enhanced asset value and profits
  • Optimized life-cycle economic performance
  • Social benefits (i.e. indoor air quality, less strain on local utitlity infrastructure, and improved overall quality of life) 

Source: BERDE for New Construction-Commercial Buildings, Philippine Green Building Council,