Updated June 11, 2009 12:00 AM [ philstar.com ]
SM North Edsa’s ‘Sky Garden’
MANILA, Philippines – SM Prime Holdings Inc., the Philippines’ dominant mall developer and operator, said that the recent opening of its highly innovative Sky Garden brings with it environmental and socio-economic benefits not only for the landmark SM City North EDSA itself, which today is the Philippines’ largest shopping complex, but also for the mall’s millions of loyal customers.
The Sky Garden is a 400-meter green roof development, which boasts of an elevated walkway with park-like ambiance that connects the four buildings of SM City North EDSA. Through the Sky Garden, which faces the northern end of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Quezon City, mall goers can stroll from one building to another through gardens of tropical trees and flowering plants and shrubs, interspersed with appropriately located shops and restaurants. Its curvilinear pathway is shaded by a long stretch of distinctive white canopy.
SM Prime president Hans T. Sy said, “SM Prime constantly explores breakthrough architectural concepts for its malls. The Sky Garden at SM City North EDSA, which is a first in the Philippines, is a noteworthy showcase of the company’s innovative thinking. Utilizing the latest in green architecture, the Sky Garden brings our customers closer to nature and at the same time contributes to environmental conservation.”
The Sky Garden offers mall-goers a serene, safe, and innovative venue, where they can gather among family and friends to grasp and enjoy nature while going about their usual dining, shopping, entertainment, and leisure activities. The Sky Garden allows countless city dwellers a much-needed, stress-free opportunity to relax and unwind through a picturesque and unique interaction with nature.
In addition, the Sky Garden, with its minimal carbon footprint, may actually help counteract global warming, as roof gardens are known to reduce the effects of ‘urban heat islands’. It may even contribute to decreasing the ambient temperature along the portion of north EDSA where it is located.
The opening of the Sky Garden in SM City North EDSA has also resulted in economic benefits. Many jobs were created when its various tenants hired new employees. In years to come, when more green roof systems are installed, additional jobs and pioneering industries will likewise be created.
Furthermore, recent studies have shown that roof gardens realize up to 20 percent savings in air-conditioning costs. If the current ground level car park below the Sky Garden is converted into an enclosed, air-conditioned shopping area, the savings in power costs will be very substantial.
On the other hand, by retaining rainwater and slowly releasing these into an area’s existing storm water infrastructure, roof gardens reduce the cost of plumbing design and systems. This makes roof gardens a cost-effective means to flood reduction due to their unique, environment-friendly features. Moreover, in the case of the Sky Garden, it catches rainwater that is subsequently recycled for landscaping and car park maintenance.
With all of its green features and characteristics, the Sky Garden is a clear example of how large-scale property development may contribute to the improvement of the environment.