• MM traffic driving green building developments

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    MORE green building developments are expected to rise in Metro Manila driven by the traffic congestion in the country’s capital, a real estate analyst said.

    Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC) chief executive officer David Leechiu noted that the traffic congestion and pollution that Metro Manila is experiencing make for an unhealthy environment for many Filipinos who live and work in the capital.

    He said businesses should consider locating in green buildings that provide sustainability and increased employee productivity.

    “In the middle of congestion, pollution, and climate change issues, businesses should now consider going into spaces that are built, designed, and constructed to minimize their environmental impact,” Leechiu said.

    “The business mindset now should be building and investing for a greener future. With the way our world is changing, everyone will gradually realize that green is the way to go both in our lifestyles and in our workplaces.”

    Citing separate studies from the US Environmental Protection Agency and the World Green Building Council, Leechiu noted that green spaces improve employee productivity due to better indoor air quality and ventilation, thermal comfort and noise reduction as a result of the green design elements of buildings.

    “Not only do green buildings help the environment recover, but they also present businesses and tenants with economic benefits that make for excellent investment. This is especially true in a megalopolis like Metro Manila, where there is not enough open park space or greenery, and where major hubs are filled with developments where use of sustainable building materials is not the standard,” Leechiu said

    In addition to their economic benefits, green building infrastructure is not significantly more expensive to build and maintain compared to a normal building.

    “Studies show that the green premium is not as steep when it is incorporated in the earliest phase of a project. It may even be considered as a wise investment when businesses factor in efficiencies during their occupancy,” LPC said.

    In an earlier interview, Colliers International director for research and advisory Julius Guevara noted that the cost of incorporating green elements into buildings is falling due to advancements in technology in the manufacture of these green elements.

    “Green building is more of necessity now than a novelty,” Guevara said “Apart from the operational cost savings, some tenants have recognized that green buildings are healthier buildings for their workers, and reduces absences.”

    Philippine Green Building Council (PhilGBC) chairman Ramon Rufino echoed Guevara’s sentiments, saying he expects the pressure to build green developments rise in the future, particularly in Metro Manila.

    “I think we’ll probably see it in Metro Manila first, but I think eventually it will filter to the rest of the cities and municipalities,” Rufino said.

    “I think we’re going to get to a point where it’s going to be a standard, especially for the medium to large developers. Every time they’re going to do a project, it’s going to be green,” Rufino said.

    Leechiu predicts increased demand for green spaces in Metro Manila as the country’s capital has become a global and regional hub for economic development.

    “It’s high time for Manila to become a green cityscape. We hope that more businesses become enlightened and see how pro-environment design practices can give them an edge not just now but also in the future,” Leechiu said.

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