Locators now prefer eco-friendly spaces

HOW are green building investments gaining ground in Cebu?

The interest is seemingly growing.

According to Arthaland Corp. vice chairman and president Jaime Gonzalez, green and sustainable developments “are achievable” by all developers.

The listed developer is building what is touted as the largest green building in the region, the Cebu Exchange.

Joey Bondoc, senior research manager at Colliers International, said companies that are keen on locating at eco-friendly spaces should drive up investments into green buildings in Cebu moving forward.

“Once the investment plans of these discerning companies materialize, we should see a greater appetite for green buildings in Cebu,” he said.

Bondoc noted there are outsourcing companies that require expansive floor plates to consolidate their operations as well as environmentally sustainable office spaces.

Gonzalez, who recently spoke at the annual Green Buillding Conference in Cebu City on Oct. 16, 2019, said a developer, for one, is looking to future projects that address “sustainability standards.”

“We have shown that green and sustainable developments are achievable by all developers, not only the large ones; and also developers from emerging economies, as well,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez noted that the company’s office building project in Cebu was built “to serve as an inspiration for green and sustainable developments in the Philippines.”

“In fact, we have shared our experiences and challenges with our peers,” he said.

Rise of green buildings

In recent years, Cebu has seen the rise of green buildings such as Arthaland’s Cebu Exchange, JEG Development Corp.’s JEG Tower and Innoland Development Corp.’s One Montage.

Gonzalez said green initiatives in the property development should aim to address the present challenges in the environment such as climate change.

Tenant preference

Bondoc said the continued expansion and consolidation of operations of some companies should result in a greater demand for green projects.

“The headquarters of multinational firms are located in green buildings and these firms require their Philippine units to also locate in green office spaces,” he said.

“This trend should also chip in to the demand for eco-friendly spaces moving forward,” Bondoc added.

A number of higher-value outsourcing firms, he said, are already in Cebu while others originally based in Manila are already looking at possible sites outside the capital region, with Cebu on their radar.

These investment plans should support greater appetite for green projects in Cebu, Bondoc said.

For instance, Cebu Exchange is registered with the US Green Building Council, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Philippine Green Building Council and Building for Ecologically Responsible Design Excellence.

“Being the first in the world to receive this Edge Zero Carbon certification places Arthaland and the Philippines in the global stage as one taking the initiative to address one of the most critical challenges in the world which is climate change,” Gonzalez said.

The company’s green building model makes use of high-quality sustainable materials, low energy consumption and natural ventilation in the entire structure.

“Building green takes more time, effort, cost and great commitment. We recover the additional time and cost required by the project by being more creative and efficient,” he said. (CSL)


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