THE city of Makati portrays the very definition of an urban jungle. Every way you look, there are towering structures made of cement, metal and glass. It’s a city I fondly compare to New York, as it shares the fast-paced vibe of the Big Apple, and serves as one of the Philippines’s premier business districts.
I have seen how, over the years, the city has been experiencing a gradual urban evolution—if you can call it as such—with new additions popping up every so often.
With the idea of sustainability on everyone’s minds these days, how do these new developments fit into the green scheme of things? Before we can answer that question, let’s first take a closer look at the country’s current perspective on vertical developments.
Green lifestyle is a choice
According to DMCI Homes Leasing, the Philippines has experienced a spike in “vertical residential” seekers in recent years, as more people have begun acknowledging vertical developments as a good form of real-estate investment.
Moreover, the price of “horizontal real estate” has been relatively unmoving and costly, which means that, in the following years, real-estate brokers can expect more and more Filipino families looking to create homes for themselves in high-rises.
While there’s nothing bad about this change in consumer-behavior trend, the questions of sustainability and green living still come up. Does your choice to live in the city mean giving up a green lifestyle?
If you presented this question to environmentalists, they would most likely answer with a resounding no. In fact, most, if not all, would even argue that high-rises are far more sustainable than gated subdivisions. The reason for which is the simple fact that buildings use up lesser land space, thus conserving natural resources that would have been otherwise destroyed for the sake of building hectares upon hectares of horizontal communities.
So, what does this mean for families living in the suburbs? In working with the theory that they will likely stay where they are, they can choose to adapt simple, but impactful, practices that can make their homes a lot more sustainable. On the other hand, those who choose to move to the city can look for condominiums that employ sustainable practices in their maintenance efforts. A great example of such a development would be the Grand Midori by Federal Land—one of the latest condominium developments in the Metro that boasts of LEED certification for incorporating of sustainable building methods. Among these methods include the use of environmentally sound materials and incorporating eco-friendly facilities.
Renovate, refurbish, restore
While using sustainable means in building construction is a step in the right direction, reclaiming old and unused structures and breathing new life into them would be a far better one. In fact, many progressive architects prefer this initiative, because it presents them with the chance to remake a structure into something that can be reflective of two time periods.
“Reconstruction is always better than building from scratch. I believe it extends the life span of a building,” WTA Architecture and Design Studio Principal Architect William Ti said. “We shouldn’t keep building from scratch, because we still have a lot of unbuilt space in this country. We should reuse as many existing spaces as much as we can, because this encourages conservation of more resources.”
Now, I would like to answer my initial question: How do these new developments come into play in the green scheme of things?
It all starts with a firm commitment to succeed and bring about change. As the Philippines continues to experience growth in all sectors and industries, I am proud to know that real-estate developers players, like Federal Land and the WTA Design Studio, are championing greener and more sustainable initiatives to make lands much more livable.