DPWH, World Bank unit work on sustainable buildings

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International Finance Corp., the private sector funding arm of the World Bank, will assist the Department of Public Works and Highways in drafting regulations to ensure that buildings to be put up in the country will be sustainable and cost-efficient.

“There is huge potential for improving the cost efficiency of buildings in the Philippines. Businesses are willing to pay more for sustainable buildings because in the long run, they will have lower electricity bills and be more competitive while contributing to cleaner air and a greener environment,” IFC Resident Representative Jesse Ang said in a statement.

IFC senior operations officer Hans Shrader added that the WB unit “supports the Philippines in its move to build green and smart structures and adopt practices that use energy and other resources efficiently. This will reduce the impact of our buildings on the environment and promote healthy living conditions.”

According to IFC, it met with the DPWH this week to discuss various measures which, if implemented, can cut the buildings’ annual power consumption by up to 20 percent and carbon emissions by as much as 25 percent.

The partnership between IFC and the agency is supported by Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the Government of Canada.

The meeting came two months after IFC signed a cooperation agreement with the DOTC to advise it on developing sustainable building regulations for the National Building Code.

Buildings emitted 33.28 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and consumed 36 percent of the Philippines’ total power output in 2010.

Rapid urban migration is expected to further increase the number of new buildings by 20 percent a year and it has therefore become increasingly important to reduce the power usage of buildings.

IFC said its meeting with the DPWH was part of a series of sustainable building discussions with the government, private sector, academia and civil society, including organizations of architects, engineers, interior designers, and other professionals groups. The sustainable building regulations will focus on such structures as hospitals, hotels, residential condominiums, offices and schools.

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