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5 reasons environment-centric dev’ts will dominate in 2012

/ 05:25 AM December 31, 2011

Will the buzz coming from Earth-friendly property developers become louder in 2012? Will we see more green than gray in our cities next year?

The answers seem to be in the affirmative, based on observations of property analysts. Here are their five reasons:


1The “green mindset” has taken off in 2011. Enrique Soriano, professor at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business and senior adviser at Wong+Bernstein Business Advisory, says “2011 marked a milestone on green awareness and involvement of the civil society. The climate agenda has created global communities that will continue to espouse green initiatives.”

Rick Santos, CB Richard Ellis Philippines chair and CEO, agrees, adding, “Never have we seen such a phenomenon take off so quickly. 2011 is a turning point. 2009 and 2010 were the planning stages of green buildings in the Philippines. 2011 is the implementation stage.”


Paul Vincent Chua of Colliers International, however, says that “for residential developments, only Artha Land’s Arya Residences has decided to go for the LEED certification. Other than that, you would see more focus on offering a lot of open spaces, use of environmentally safe materials, etc. I would expect to see more of the latter than seeing a lot more LEED-certified residential buildings.”

LEED means Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a rating system developed by the United States Green Building Council.

Lui Matti, CB Richard Ellis’ executive director for Asset Services Group, says it would be too early to say if green projects had fared better in 2011, given that the major projects put up for investment purposes are either still under construction or just newly completed.

Alejandro Mañalac, National Real Estate Association chair, says 2011 “saw quite a good number of these environment-friendly projects compared to the previous years when the people were not actually too conscious about it.”

“It may also be because there were more projects developed outside but in the fringes of the CBDs (central business districts), which allowed them to conceptualize their developments to be green yet still affordable.”

Manalac says he hopes “the developers will really build projects that are truly green in its real sense and not just use the term for advertising purposes.”

2The rise of green office sectors will continue. Chua sees more buildings to become LEED-certified as well as Berde-certified. Along with that will follow environment-friendly office spaces.


Berde stands for Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence. It is the rating system developed by the Philippine Green Building Council.

“I can only hope that we can see incentives from the government for green buildings, as the capital expenditure for these buildings is still quite high, and the savings would come in only after the building is already operational,” he adda.

Matti predicts this green trend will continue and become more popular. “If the government throws more support behind it in terms of incentives and breaks, then even more will join the bandwagon.”

3Operating value of green projects to be completely realized by 2012. Soriano says such projects will finally realize the social and operating value of going green, finally subduing the “cost phobia” hampering the concept. He adds that “perceived costs” related to green buildings have been generally overestimated. “We should stop viewing sustainability as an added burden with added cost.”

He advises developers to shift from being “profit driven” to becoming “value driven.” “The next steps should be continuing education; buyers must demand for green homes; government intervention; and incentives to developers.”

4Top developers are leading the way. What could be more motivating than the industry leaders themselves taking the initiative. Matti cites Net Lima, the Alphaland Tower, Nuvali. Texas Instruments, Arthaland Developments, SunLife, ADB and Shell Shared Services as some of the green trendsetters. Santos adds to the growing list the Zuellig Building as the preeminent green building project in the country.

“It’s clearly not only one of the best buildings in the Philippines, it’s one of the best buildings in Asia,” Santos says.

He explains, “If you look at what’s happening in the West, green buildings are becoming not just an exception. It is becoming a norm that many multinational companies are favorably looking upon, if not requiring to get a LEED certification.”

5Tenants will demand for green buildings. “We will see the evolution of green buildings and technologies, but also more demand from tenants for developers to prescribe to green practices. With the large takeup of multinational companies, and as BPOs continue to offshore more seats and operations to thrive, that will become more of a standard practice here,” Santos says.

Engineer Enrico S. Cruz, real estate educator and broker, agreed, adds that green projects will be preferred by Filipino buyers in 2012.

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TAGS: Alejandro Mañalac, Ateneo Graduate School of Business, CB Richard Ellis Philippines, Enrique Soriano, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, National Real Estate Association, Rick Santos, Wong+Bernstein Business Advisory
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