Green reigns supreme in 2 metro buildingsBy Tessa Prieto-Valdes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
RED AND green may be the colors of Christmas, but when it comes to buildings, green reigns supreme. Green is especially radiant in this era of environmental consciousness.
The US Green Building Council created a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED certification, and the first awardee in our country is Sun Life Financial-Philippines’ new headquarters. The Sun Life Centre received its LEED Gold certification for its sustainable design and structure.
Situated in the bustling Bonifacio Global City, The Sun Life Centre embodies the company’s focus on “a brighter future by adopting a greener lifestyle,” as noted by its president, Riza Mantaring.
The P2-billion Sun Life Centre is an investment that showcases the advantages of sustainable design. Armand Apuya, head of administration services, noted its features, including rainwater harvesting and motion-sensors to regulate electricity consumption. He also pointed out the double-glazed windows that block heat but not sunlight, and CO2 sensors to flush out pollutants inside the building. Best of all, the unique “green roof” provides relief and a refreshing view of the BGC skyline for cubicle-stuck employees.
“Sun Life’s LEED Gold certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president of the US Green Building Council, adding that the “Sun Life Centre serves as a prime example of just how much can be accomplished.”
Culture of sustainability
At the heart of the Sun Life Centre is a culture of sustainability, which includes reducing the company’s carbon footprint while investing in clean and renewable energy. In fact, 61 percent of Sun Life’s global commercial real estate has been accredited by systems like LEED as being optimal for the environment.
Mantaring added that to Sun Life employees, sustainability is a core value. The commitment to sustainability reaffirms their commitment to Filipinos’ future, when “life will be brighter under the Sun.” For more information about Sun Life and its commitment to sustainability, visit www.sunlife.com.ph.
Green can also embody timeless beauty in modern architecture. Perhaps the most outstanding example in recent memory is the newly inaugurated Zuellig Building at the intersection of Paseo de Roxas and Makati Avenues in Makati City.
From the outside, the Zuellig Building features a solid-glass exterior with a ceramic frit pattern reminiscent of the bamboo tree. The low-emissivity curtain wall is designed to minimize solar heat gain and energy loss, while allowing 90 percent of the interior office space to have natural light.
The building’s interiors are just as impressive. The bamboo design is replicated in the lobby, while the superior indoor-air quality secures the wellbeing of all visitors and tenants. The use of low Volatile Organic Compound or VOC construction materials and the CO2 sensors that modulate outside airflow according to the estimated number of occupants in a room ensures an enhanced comfort, health and productivity of office workers.
The Zuellig Building also features power-saving LED lights and a sensor-controlled lighting system to reduce electric lighting based on the intensity of daylight. These, along with other factors, allow for 15-percent lower energy consumption as compared with a conventional building.
Highest int’l standards
Just like the Sun Life Centre, the Zuellig Building has Gold precertification under the LEED Core & Shell program of the US Green Building Council. Indeed, the Zuellig Building has been planned, designed and constructed with the highest international standards in mind.
The Zuellig Building also recently won the “People’s Choice” Award among 117 projects from 12 countries in the internationally renowned MIPIM Asia Awards, at ceremonies held at the Grand Hyatt, Hong Kong. The development also won Bronze for the “Best in Office and Business Development” category. The Zuellig Building is the first and only contender from the Philippines in this year’s MIPIM Asia awards.
Green is evident upon entering the Zuellig Building. Standing majestically in the lobby is its 6-meter high Nordmann Fir Christmas tree, flown in from a managed forest in Denmark. The impressive tree only has a tree top accent and LED lights to dress it up.
It’s the perfect touch to put the spirit of Christmas among all the beautiful new and green buildings in our country.
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