MAJOR retail estate and investment management professional services firm JLL Philippines recently urged developers to adapt sustainability in their current and upcoming projects, stressing that it is at the forefront of all industries around the world.
To prove it also walks the talk, JLL Philippines Country Head Christophe Vicic said the company has given its full support to have more buildings in major business districts and developments in several parts of the country. Vicic, a member of the Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC) board of trustees, advocates the implementation of programs to expand green building certifications, such as the Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (Berde) and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
Berde is the Philippines’s national voluntary green building rating system developed by the PHILGBC and has been granted government recognition through the Department of Energy’s Philippine Energy Efficiency Program. LEED, developed by the United States Green Building Council, is the rating system of the United States.
Berde validates and observes the performance of buildings above and beyond existing mandatory building and environmental regulations and standards. It has three leading rating schemes: new construction, retrofits and renovations, and operation. Its core framework includes energy/water efficiency and conservation, waste management, indoor environment quality and emissions, among others.
Moreover, Berde is consensus driven and achieves its goals by conducting a multi-stakeholder consultation and collaboration process. The Berde Assessment and Certification achieves credible, unbiased, balanced and independent stand by engaging a third-party certification process conforming to international standards.
“While LEED is a good standard in making our buildings more ecologically friendly, Berde will further our cause even more as it is tailored to fit the systems in place here in the Philippines,” Vicic said.
Berde requires the submission of environmental clearances and building permits prescribed by the national and local governments. This functions as cross-check of the building compliance with existing legislation and national policies regarding environmental practices in the country. It has started promoting local government units in crafting their own green building ordinances.
For Vicic, the most important thing is that a building is certified under a green building rating tool.
“We want the industry to be in place wherein it’s no longer a question of whether you’re going green, but how green your building will be. The mission is that new buildings are expected to be certified,” Vicic said.
“On the part of JLL, we will do what we can to imbibe our service initiatives to encourage our clients to push for green buildings, and see the value of choosing to develop or be in sustainable spaces,” Vicic added.
At present, the Philippines has 38 building developments enrolled for Berde certification. This represents a total gross floor area of 1.4 million square meters of registered Berde projects. Companies that trust Berde for their building projects include Maynilad Water Services, Mañosa Properties, Arthaland Corp., First Balfour, HT Land Corp., Ayala Land Inc., Filinvest Land Inc., Laguna Lake Development Authority, The Net Group, De La Salle University, Monocrete Construction Philippines, Aseana Holdings, Keyland Corp., Filinvest Alabang Inc., Cebu Land Masters, Prescon and RSP Lim Construction Co.
The first projects to register under Berde Version 2.0.0 are the Latitude Corporate Center project in Cebu City and Astra Centre project in Mandaue City of Cebu Landmasters Inc., and the Mandani Bay Quay Towers 1 and 2 project of HTLand, Inc. in Mandaue City, Cebu.
The PHILGBC is an association of private and public-sector leaders representing more than 300 organizations focused in promoting green building and sustainability in the property sector.