Green Buildings in Asia Are Gaining Social Value
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Green buildings are becoming increasingly attractive to business owners and consumers in the Philippines, leading to a boom in green building development there.
In the U.S., green buildings are admired widely for their beauty, innovation, savings, and the fast return on investment. Our other industrialized nation counterparts have been doing lots of green building as well. The Philippines is starting to rise up as a major economic contributor in Asia and is catching the wave on green building now. Green buildings are attractive to Filipino businesses because of the positive image it creates for the business having social responsibility. The businesses are also benefitting from the energy and water savings that the buildings bring. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and other similar environmentally conscientious standards are the subject of discussion on a large-scale.
A recent press conference was held in the Philippines by CB Richard Ellis of the Philippines Division had this as a subject of discussion. The topic of the conference was regarding green buildings and LEED in Asia. The conference featured special guest speaker Jennivine Kwan, vice president for International Operations of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). This conference was important to green building because it had decision makers from the commercial real estate sector, green associates, and LEED accredited professionals in the country all attending to discuss and share the latest information on green building.
Kwan demonstrated that green buildings are on the rise around the world. The numbers show that as of October 2010, the total worldwide commercial LEED registered projects has reached 8,579, according to Kwan.
On the international front, LEED is one of the most commonly used green building rating systems. This was developed by a team of experts in USGBC to determine a building’s sustainable performance and environmental design. The system covers new construction, interior and exterior, existing buildings, commercial interiors, homes, schools, and neighborhood developments. The numbers of developments by LEED are also increasing to have more designs for more building uses.
In the Philippines, the green building movement began to take off in 2009. As of now, there are five LEED certified projects in the Philippines: the Asian Development Bank, Nuvali One Evotech, Shell Shared Services Office, Texas Instruments in both Baguio and Clark. This number now is going to increase and have more buildings pursuing higher ratings.
Twenty eight projects are now registered for LEED certification; one of them is the Zuellig building, the first LEED Core & Shell pre-certified Gold-level prime office building in the country.
The Zuellig building is a 33 story building featuring 55,000 square meters of rentable office space and is expected to provide substantial paybacks in terms of energy savings, operating costs, and employee productivity to its tenants once completed. This leading development is exclusively leased out and to be managed by CBRE Philippines, the country’s leading real estate advisory firm who also hosted the conference.
Rick Santos, CEO and chairman of CBRE Philippines expressed “the Zuellig building showcases the trend we see developing in the commercial real estate sector. Green buildings are the future of the industry. And this presents opportunities in the country’s physical and business environment.”
Investors and leading tenants who compose of firms from all over the world, large institutions, several others are now incorporating sustainability and corporate social responsibility into their daily uses from green garage doors and homes to cleaner technology at the work place, and therefore seek to build and lease places that are able to meet their mission.
“By going `green’, we not only help the environment, but are able to capture that sizable market,” Santos said.
Photo credit: Birger Hoppe