Latest Stories

30% of MNCs prefer green buildings


GREEN LANDMARK Zuellig Building is vying for LEED Platinum certification.

As the Philippines positions itself as the regional hub of multinational corporations (MNCs), the demand for environment-friendly smart buildings is gaining traction.

A third of MNCs want their local headquarters in an “intelligent,” eco-friendly skyscraper. This was revealed to Inquirer Property by architects, urban planners, a real estate professor and a consultant for environment sustainable structures.

Architect Willie Coscolluela, principal architect of W.V. Coscolluela & Associates, the local architectural firm behind the Zuellig Building, affirmed this. “You’d be surprised that there are multinational companies with a corporate mandate indicating (they should be in a) green building.”

Many MNCs require LEED

Dean Barone, president of Barone International, a sustainable design support services consulting firm and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) consultant of Megaworld’s 8 Campus Place in McKinley Hill at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, told Inquirer Property that “many multinational corporations require LEED, but are unaware it can be done in the Philippines.”

Barone cited Wells Fargo, HSBC, Shell, Texas Instruments, and Johnson & Johnson as some of the MNCs that mandate LEED certification for all projects worldwide, including the Philippines.

LEED was created by the US Green Building Council, and is the most widely used green rating system worldwide.

Enrique Soriano, professor at Ateneo Graduate School of Business and senior adviser at Wong+Bernstein Business Advisory, said he estimated that “30 percent of MNCs prefer green buildings or LEED-certified developments.”

He explained: “Green growth is gaining momentum across developed and emerging economies like the Philippines. Green-building construction is growing eight times in the global market. Studies have indicated a 13- to 15-percent reduction in operating costs and a 10- to 12-percent increase in values.”

Architect and urban planner Felino Palafox Jr., president of the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners, said “investors and responsible developers spend a bit more on the first three years on design and construction, and realize more savings on the next 97 years of the building.”

Palafox added, “Less responsible, less enlightened developers cut costs on the design and construction on the first three years of a building, pass on the extra costs of energy, water maintenance repairs to the tenants and buyers for the next 97 years of a building for the inefficiencies in the design and construction—using the cheapest architects, engineers, contractors, suppliers and materials.”

NOTHING WASTED Barone points to cement made of fly ash. Photo: TR SALAZAR

Palafox was educated in green architecture and sustainable urban development during his masteral course in Harvard University.

“Foreign investors prefer LEED certified, or at least buildings designed following green-architecture principles like (allowing in) more natural light and ventilation, (installation of) green roofs, green walls, rainwater harvesting facility, sky gardens, LED lighting and solar wind energy retrofitable in the future when these become less costly, and tall buildings interconnected with skywalks to reduce use of elevators and address evacuation during disasters,” Palafox observed.

Meeting 5 LEED criteria

Megaworld Corp.’s 8 Campus Place will have three towers being built to meet LEED criteria in all five categories: site, water reduction, energy savings, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and construction. The project is eyed for long-term lease to business process outsourcing companies.

The Zuellig Building, which is vying for the LEED Platinum certification, is a 33-story office tower sheathed in 28,000 square meters of floor-to-ceiling low emissivity glass. It uses the same green technology that’s being used in the Freedom Tower in New York.

The building, previously precertified Gold level under the LEED program of the US Green Building Council, is now vying for the higher Platinum standard. Coscolluela partnered with international architectural firm Skidmore, Owing & Merrill (the same company behind the Freedom Tower) for this project. Recently, Zuelllig also bagged recognition from MIPIM Asia Awards for being the best office and business development.

Greening Ayala Avenue

Coscolluela, who has been an architect for over 50 years, is also the vice president of the Makati Commercial Estate Association (Macea), which manages the 350 buildings in Legazpi and Salcedo villages. “I’m the chair of the beautification of the Makati CBD. We are greening the Ayala Avenue and lighting up the sidewalks and underpasses.”

Coscolluela is also involved with the RCBC Plaza, which won the Asean Energy Awards in 2004.

The CBRE global corporate services team has noted that there is a growing interest, awareness and preference from landlords and occupiers for green buildings in the country.

According to CBRE, there are currently five LEED certified buildings in the Philippines, which include the Asian Development Bank, Nuvali One Evotech, Shell Shared Services Office and Texas Instruments in both Baguio and Clark. Additionally, 58 projects are currently registered for LEED certification.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: environment , Green Buildings , property

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Ukraine FM: We are ready to fight Russia
  • Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  • 2 contractors fined P25,000 for delays in Edsa rehab
  • Luisita beneficiaries take over renters
  • 5 years of hard work pay off for top UP grad
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • A brand for life
  • Wear a rainbow on your wrist
  • Wearing Kate Moss
  • Sail into summer
  • Life lessons from the Ultimate Warrior
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • Gaming stocks gain, PSEi eases on profit-taking
  • Cebu Pacific flew 3.74M passengers as of March
  • Corporate bonds sweeteners
  • Professionals in the family business
  • Foreign funds flowed out in Q1, says BSP
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  • US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
  • Marketplace