The country’s property market is expected to see more green or eco-friendly developments as the Philippine Green Building Council (PhilGBC) intends to step up its certification process, an organization official said.
In an interview with The Manila Times, PhilGBC chairman Ramon Rufino said the agency is looking to “tweak” the evaluation process for the Building For Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE) certification so there would be more BERDE-certified buildings in the country.
“The process is a little bit too long, and that’s something we’re trying to tweak right now,” Rufino said “We’re trying to speed the evaluation certification process.”
He noted there are only four or five developments that are BERDE-certified or would be certified after completion, with the Net Lima building in Bonifacio Global City being the first to receive the certification in 2014. The building received a 4-star rating on a 5-star system, with 5 being the highest level.
Despite the slower evaluation process, Rufino noted the number of green developments in the country has been growing as seen in the number of projects that are registered for BERDE certification.
He noted there are around 30 projects now under registered for certification.
Once the organization improves the evaluation process, it expects to have 20 to 30 projects BERDE-certified per year.
“The challenge for us, to be honest, is the processing time. It takes a lot of effort to certify. Right now, our priority is improving our process” Rufino said. “Our hope is, really, we want to start to grow the system so that we can get from maybe anywhere from 20 to 30 projects per year, or anywhere up to that point. But it really depends on our ability to process.”
The certification covers all types of developments: residential, retail, and office.
“We have office, we have residential, residential condo, residential townhouse. We have schools. We recently did a pilot for industrial/manufacturing. I would say vast majority of the projects would be in the office and residential would be the most and a bit of retail as well. It’s quite broad,” Rufino noted.
Of the projects currently under registration, Rufino said most of the developments are in Metro Manila, with a few in Cebu and Davao.
“A lot of developers are just being more sensitive to how people are – to the consumers – whether homebuyers or office tenants,” Rufino said.
KMC Mag Group Associate Director for Office Leasing Rosario Carbonell echoed Rufino’s sentiment. She said developers are showing clients care for the environment by incorporating green features into buildings.
“One of their main motivations for that, basically, is just to show their clients and tenants that they care for the environment as well. And many of these companies especially the multinationals, they’re also into those things,” Carbonell said.
Carbonell said the green building trend will continue in the property market this year, specifically in office buildings in central business districts.
“I think we’ll probably see it in Metro Manila first. But I think eventually it will filter into 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 noted.