‘Green’ Buildings in the Philippines

More multinational corporations that want to set up local headquarters in the Philippines look for eco-friendly skyscrapers. There is a mounting demand from the international business community, especially foreign investors, on local locators to offer more green buildings. An increasing number of Filipino building owners are retrofitting and upgrading existing buildings to improve energy efficiency and environmental performance.

Green growth is gaining momentum in developed and emerging economies like the Philippines. Green buildings reduce the strain on energy resources. A study by the United States of America-based commercial real estate services firm CBRE Global Network showed that while green building may entail more costs, the investment is recoverable in the long run through decreased operating costs, increased return on investment through higher tenant retention, and increased asset value.

Foreign investors prefer Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED)-certified, or buildings designed following green-architecture principles, such as more natural light and ventilation, green roofs, green walls, rainwater harvesting facility, sky gardens, and skywalks to reduce elevator use. LEED was created by the United States of America Green Building Council, and is a widely used green rating system worldwide. The five LEED certified buildings in the Philippines are Asian Development Bank, Nuvali One Evotech, Shell Shared Services Office, and Texas Instruments in Baguio City and in Clark, Pampanga. Some 58 projects are awaiting LEED certification.

A local rating, a counterpart of the LEED certification, was created by Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC), a non-profit organization that promotes green building design, construction, and management that are ecologically responsible, safe, and healthy. It is an alliance of building and construction industry leaders from public and private sectors who develop a nationally accepted green building rating standard, called Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE).

We congratulate CBRE Philippine Chairman and Chief Operating Officer Rick M. Santos and Philippines Green Building Council Chairman Christopher C. de la Cruz, and other Officials and Members, for their "green" building initiatives and projects. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!

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