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Excellence in sustainability: LEED Platinum-certified buildings in the Philippines | MyProperty.ph
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Excellence in sustainability: LEED Platinum-certified buildings in the Philippines

by Jillian CariolaPublished: July 13, 2017Updated: August 11, 2017

When it comes to green building these days, the question is not just “are you green?” but “how green are you?”

LEED Platinum certified office buildings in Philippines MyProperty Wells Fargo Megaworld

With the threat of irreversible climate change constantly looming over us, efforts promoting eco-friendliness and sustainability should no longer be mere suggestions but mandatory actions to lessen our carbon footprint. While human activity has a major impact on the environment, not all are convinced that climate change is real, which is what made the signing of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement—a deal among almost 200 countries to work on mitigating global warming—such a monumental event. And nations are taking their commitment very seriously; China has cancelled plans to build over 100 coal plants and will be investing at least $360 billion in renewable energy, France is planning to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2040, and India has recently planted more than one million trees. And even after U.S. president Donald Trump announced that America is pulling out of the agreement, nearly a thousand of the country's mayors, businesses, investors, and academic institutions have signed the “We Are Still In” initiative, a pact to uphold the agreement and continue to fight climate change.

Here in the Philippines, real estate developers are also doing their part to ensure a better future by practicing green building based on best practices that meet global standards. One of the measures by which property brands are policing themselves is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), a world-renowned green building certification method developed by the nonprofit organization U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

There are five main LEED Rating Systems: LEED Building Design and Construction (BD+C); LEED for Interior Design and Construction (ID+C); LEED for Building Operations and Maintenance (O+M), LEED for Neighborhood Development (ND), and LEED Homes. Under the new LEED v4 rules, structures can earn up to 110 points depending on their ability to meet the eight credit categories: Location and Transportation, Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Innovation, and Regional Priority. (Buildings assessed under v2 rules can earn a maximum of 69 points; v3 or v2009 buildings also up to 110 points.)

While many of our country’s developers have constructed their buildings to meet the Gold, Silver, and Certification levels, only a handful of developments have managed to achieve the highly coveted Platinum mark.

1. Bridgebury Realty Corp. Office

Zuellig Building, Brgy. Urdaneta, Makati
LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors v3
Platinum since April 4, 2013
LEED Score: 82/110

As the owner and developer of the Zuellig Building, Bridgebury Realty Corp. prides itself in its ability to stay true to its core values of “reliability, pragmatism and world-class performance.” According to the office’s LEED scorecard, their office managed to reach 82 points by getting perfect marks in Water Efficiency, Innovation, and Regional Priority, while also receiving perfect marks in subcategories like green power under Energy and Atmosphere; alternative transportation – public transportation access under Sustainable Sites; and construction waste management under Materials and Resources.

2. Sun Life Center Head Office

Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors v3
Platinum since April 17, 2013
LEED Score: 80/110

Sun Life Center, said to be the first building owned by life insurance giant Sun Life Financial in the Philippines, is one of the first structures in the country to achieve Platinum status, and has since set the standard for BGC corporate buildings. Aside from perfecting Water Efficiency and getting Regional Priority Credits, the Sun Life head office also received top marks in subcategories like development density and community connectivity under Sustainable Sites; optimized energy performance for lighting power, and equipment and appliances under Energy and Atmosphere; and recycled content under Materials and Resources.

LEED Platinum certified office buildings in Philippines MyProperty Sun Life Center
Sun Life Center Head Office in BGC, Taguig. Photo from sunlife.com.ph

3. Zuellig Building

Brgy. Urdaneta, Makati
LEED BD+C: Core and Shell v2
Platinum since July 15, 2013
LEED Score: 45/62

The most striking feature of the 33-story Zuellig Building is its all-glass facade, though its purpose exceeds mere aesthetics. The glass panels have low-emissivity (low-E) coating that minimizes solar heat and energy loss while maximizing natural light. This along with a perfect Water Efficiency grade and near perfect marks for Sustainable Sites and Indoor Environmental Quality are what led to the building’s grade of 45 out of 62.

LEED Platinum certified office buildings in Philippines MyProperty Zuellig Building
Zuellig Building in Brgy. Urdaneta, Makati. Photo by Judgefloro (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

4. Wells Fargo Center Philippines Buildings A, B, and C

McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors v3
Building A: Platinum since October 17, 2014
LEED Score: 84/110
Building B: Platinum since October 14, 2015
LEED Score: 81/110
Building C: Platinum since October 5, 2015
LEED Score: 87/110

Also known as 8 Campus Place Building A, Wells Fargo Center Philippines Building A is one of the office components of Megaworld’s 50-hectare Taguig township McKinley Hill. Making up its 84 points are its full marks for Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, and Regional Priority Credits, as well as perfect scores in subcategories like recycled content and regional materials under Materials and Resources; and optimized energy of equipment and appliances under Energy and Atmosphere.

A year later, Wells Fargo Center’s Buildings B and C followed, garnering LEED scores of 81 and 87, respectively.

LEED Platinum certified office buildings in Philippines MyProperty Wells Fargo Megaworld
Wells Fargo Center Building A in McKinley Hill, BGC, Taguig. Photo via Megaworld Corporation

5. Pioneer House CDO

Cagayan De Oro, Misamis Oriental
LEED BD+C: Core and Shell v3
Platinum since April 22, 2015
LEED Score: 83/110

Pioneer Insurance’s fourth Pioneer House, located in Cagayan De Oro City, was awarded a LEED Score of 83 for perfect to near-perfect marks in categories like Water Efficiency and Innovation. According to the Pioneer Group, the seven-level building's green features include water-efficient plumbing, energy-efficient air conditioning systems without harmful refrigerants, generators with fuel-saving engines and noise suppressors, energy consumption tracker, and double-glazed windows to allow 75 percent of natural light without the heat. Pioneer House CDO also has features designed to incentivize eco-friendly employees, such as bike racks, priority parking for energy-efficient vehicles, and showers for those who walk or bike to work.

6. HSBC New Alabang 7th Floor Office

Filinvest One Building, Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa
LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors v3
Platinum since May 6, 2015
LEED Score: 83/110

While HSBC occupies the second to seventh level of the Filinvest One Building, it was the highest that met the standards of LEED in terms of Platinum certification, earning a total of 83 points. Aside from having a perfect score in Water Efficiency, it also got top marks in subcategories like public transport access and parking availability under Sustainable Sites; optimized energy performance for its lighting power, equipment and appliances, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) under Energy and Atmosphere; and construction waste management and recycled content under Materials and Resources.

7. SunPower Philippines Regional Operating Headquarters - New Building Addition

Biñan, Laguna
LEED BD+C: New Construction v3
Platinum since December 7, 2016
LEED Score: 89/110

SunPower Philippines, fittingly, is in the power efficiency business, designing and manufacturing solar modules for businesses and homes. The company’s four-story new building addition is said to have been developed with an aim to deliver a “high-quality office environment with priority care to both people and the planet.” The building earned a final LEED score of 89 points through green features, such as on-site renewable energy through solar PV panels, high-efficiency fan coil units (FCUs) for comfort cooling and enhanced ventilation, and building automation/management systems to intelligently control the services’ functions.

LEED Platinum certified office buildings in Philippines MyProperty SunPower
SunPower Philippines ROH new building in Biñan, Laguna. Photo by Eric Bautista of EB Project Management via usgbc.org

8. Unilever Bayanihan Project

Stop Over Building, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors v3
Platinum since March 28, 2017
LEED Score: 88/110

Unilever Philippines was headquartered in Paco District, Manila, for 89 years before it relocated to its current home in BGC. Aside from ensuring that the new office is laid out in with the comfort and satisfaction of employees in mind, the company also ensured that it meets the standards set by LEED through efforts like temperature control, natural light maximization, trash segregation. More specifically, the office was able to achieve a score of 88 by getting top scores under Sustainable Sites and Water Efficiency, as well as perfect ratings in subcategories like optimized lighting power, equipment, and appliances under Energy and Atmosphere; and construction waste management and recycled content under Material and Resources.

 

Sources: nasa.gov, unfccc.int, nytimes.com, independent.co.uk, cbsnews.com, usgbc.org, bloomberg.com, zuelligbuilding.com, philstar.com, bworldonline.com, ibpap.org, spot.ph

Main photo via Megaworld Corporation

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