Real estate industry urged to go ‘green’

Real estate industry urged to go ‘green’
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REAL estate developers are encouraged to come up with sustainable and environmentally friendly buildings in 2024.

Oliver Chan, senior vice president and chief sustainability officer of Arthaland, a local developer that has a commercial and residential portfolio that is 100 percent certified as sustainable by local and global organizations, said 39 percent of global energy-related carbon emissions come from real estate, primarily from building and construction.

He said a lot of developers are discussing sustainability and pursuing “green” strategies on office spaces, but they should instead focus on residential buildings which make up 51 percent of real estate being built in the country.

He said it’s easier to make office spaces sustainable since most buildings that are turned over have bare interiors with the developer not having to think about finishes.

He said residential buildings require more attention, such as the materials being used, the finishes in the unit, and the mechanical ventilation, among others, which will require a different specification and detail to become sustainable.

“It’s not just about having green and open spaces. It’s about making the specifications sustainable,” he said.

Chan attended the presentation of CBRE, a global real estate services and investment firm, on its yearend market overview for 2023 showcasing data on the real estate market for different regions nationwide on Wednesday, Feb. 21.

“If we don’t do our part, the temperature here in the Philippines will change by another 1.5 degrees Celsius,” he said.

Aside from energy savings, Chan said a sustainable building also has less environmental impact, which will allow future generations to experience a better climate and environment.

Chan said the key is for the real estate industry and the general public to understand the concept of sustainability. He cited the possible financial gain that can be made through programs such as the Balai Berde of the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp.

“The only way to understand it is if it has a financial impact. To be honest, let’s face it, if there’s no money in return, it’s hard for you to understand what the benefit is,” said Chan.

Balai Berde aims to increase capital allocations only for green-certified projects that contribute to environmental sustainability and resiliency.

“So there are benefits to going sustainable that are financial as well, not just health, wellness and operational savings,” Chan said.


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