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Investments in ‘green buildings’ sought

[ Manila Bulletin Online ] September 20, 2008

CEBU CITY — The United Nations (UN) advisory board on water and sanitation is urging real estate developers in the country to invest in the establishment of ‘green buildings’ or environment-friendly facilities.

Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, chairman of the UN advisory board, said there has been "consumer pressure" from retail establishments worldwide for real estate developers to construct buildings that adhere to environmental protection and sustainable energy development.

"Business people are consumers themselves. They communicate with their stakeholders on how to adapt to the recent global trends, especially one that concerns the environment," Prince Alexander said during the 8th Asia Pacific Roundtable on "Sustainable Consumption and Production and Green Growth for Climate Action" held here last Wednesday.

The "green building" is actually the concept of increasing the efficiency with which buildings use resources such as energy, water and materials, while reducing impact on human health and the environment.

In Mandaue City, Cebu-based developer Robinland Inc. (RLI) is now constructing one of the country’s first green Information Technology (IT) buildings in a 2,500-square-meter, company-owned lot located in the city’s reclamation area.

Jun Sa-a, RLI vice president for operations and business development, said Robinland Business Center is equipped with its own sewage-treatment plant to help recycle water for sanitation and irrigation use. The building façade is designed to minimize penetration of the sunlight, resulting in lower-energy requirement for air conditioning.

It also uses energy-efficient lighting systems, maximized collection of rainwater and will have its own operational waste management system.

Sa-a said capital outlay for the development of the IT building is estimated at P300 million, where the company spent 400 pieces of 15-meter long piles driven to secure the structure’s foundation.

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