Thursday, May 28, 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES [ BusinessWorld Online ]
WHILE worried over shrinking inquiries for office space, a property developer remains optimistic on demand from business process outsourcing (BPO) firms as the country’s first "utility-efficient" and "green" information technology (IT) building opens in Cebu next month.
This ‘Green’ building promises to cut power bills by half. — www.robinland.net
Edwin B. Robin, President and Chief executive officer of Robinland, Inc., believes his "eco-friendly" building can tap the huge market for BPOs that need to expand but cautious over investment costs due to the global financial crisis.
"We are really worried that the global economic crisis will affect our take-up rate but if the market will be properly informed about the benefits of locating with us, I am sure that they will be encouraged to expand," Mr. Robin said during a media tour of the Robinland IT/BPO Center.
Most queries have come from call center companies already in Cebu but are looking at adding more seats, he said without identifying the companies.
The nine-storey "green" IT building has 9,000 square meters of space for lease and can accommodate about 4,000 seats. Located on Zuellig Avenue at the North Reclamation Area in Mandaue, the P300-million structure is said to be equipped with "green technology," allowing the most efficient use of resources such as energy, water, and other materials.
"Our locators can save money since their utility bills here will be lower compared to other buildings," said Wilfredo T. Sa-a, Jr., vice president for operations and business development.
The building’s facade is designed to minimize the penetration of sun rays resulting in lower energy requirements for airconditioning. It also has an energy-efficient lighting system, a rainwater collection and utilization system, and a waste management system.
The building also has a P2-million sewage treatment plant to recycle wastewater into non-potable water for toilet flushing and plant watering.
Mr. Saa said the building is also equipped with solar absorption airconditioning technology, which will use energy from the sun to heat up the refrigerant system, reducing electricity use by 50%.
The Robinland IT/BPO Center is registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), which means tax breaks and other incentives.
The green IT building is expected to stir commercial development in the North Reclamation area. It is also the first IT building in Cebu offering a panoramic view of city lights and seas.
"Our building is really an ideal place for locators especially for call center companies, which employ people usually stressed from taking calls. Here, they can find a place to take a break and get really re-energized," said Mr. Robin. — Regina T. Aguilar