Going green ‘about future, not ROI’-A A +A
By Mia A. Aznar
Sunday, June 24, 2012
IF entrepreneurs expect a return of investment for going green, an architect wants it known that they won’t get it.
Architect Gene Arthur Go, who spoke on sustainable green design for retail spaces during the Cebu Regional Retail Conference last Friday, said the decision to go green should not be to expect a return of investment.
“When you go green, you are not doing it for the ROI. You are doing it for your children and your children’s children,” Go told participants.
Go admitted that most clients want to be sustainable but suddenly back off when they see the bill.
When building sustainable retail spaces, Go said that elements to be considered are the circulation, lighting, materials used, visual branding, ambience and the market being targeted.
He noted that most think that going green is more of a public relations stunt but want to start changing plans when they learn being sustainable means it could cost more.
Go said that sometimes, there is no other way around it.
For retailers to go green in their shops, Go said they did not have to invest in solar-powered items or embark on complicated projects. He said the simple way is to be conscious of how energy is being consumed.
For shops that are not in malls, Go suggested investing in solar air conditioning, which is available online from companies based in China, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Though it could cost more, Go said it can save the user 40 to 50 percent of standard power charges.
In building a retail space, using recycled, eco-friendly materials creatively can go a long way.
Stores, he said, can use LED lighting and use recyclable packaging for starters. He also showed photos of retail shops abroad using reclaimed wood, old shipping containers and volatile organic compound paints. He noted that stores need not use new
materials and stuff from an old house can be given a fresh new look.
As for building green structures, Architect Joy Onozawa of Environment Design said going green does not have to be about technology or an expensive lifestyle.
Onozawa, in another discussion on green building at the Emerging Industries Forum, said going green just means being connected to the natural environment and remembering that people have to co-exist with nature.
She said it should not be treated as a trend.
In designing a building, Onozawa said architects should take full advantage of the light, make sure heat is kept out by adding awnings and balconies, collecting rain water and bringing it back to the ground, take note of the wind flows and try not having any waste.
Like Go, she said creativity plays a part in designing green spaces.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 25, 2012.