An advocate for sustainable infrastructure is encouraging real estate developers to consider going “green” to stand out from the rest of the market.
Carmelito Tatlonghari, a sustainable design consultant for certifying green buildings, said the demand for green infrastructure is increasing as more people are becoming conscious of the environment.
“In a marketing process, it adds more to your strategy. (Green buildings) are cost efficient to its users and these will not cause any health problems,” he said in a press briefing on Friday.
Tatlonghari is an accredited professional of the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Building Design and Construction (LEED-AP BD+C) and a certified BERDE professional of the Philippine Green Building Council.
The Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE) and LEED rating systems are two of the gauges used to certify green buildings in the Philippines.
Tatlonghari said going green doesn’t have to be an engineering solution but rather a way of design and construction that considers how a building will affect the environment and how the environment will affect the building.
The consultant added that it is only a matter of identifying how users of the building can get the maximum natural lighting and ventilation, which will eventually lead to savings on electricity bills.
Installations such as rainwater catchment facilities are also some of the features of a green building, which will help users save on water bills as well, he said.
Green buildings, he said, are not only energy and water efficient, but also cheaper to operate and maintain, have reduced negative impacts on the environment, create a healthy environment for its users, and improve their productivity as well as their quality of life.
Moreover, he said the shift to green buildings has also become imperative in the industry due to the effects of climate change.
Industry players have no choice but to heed their clients’ requests, Tatlonghari added.
“In our small little way, if we can make our building more efficient, we are contributing to the mitigation of greenhouse gases,” he said.
As more companies choose to build green workspaces, the market gradually transforms, leading to an increase in the production of green construction materials, Tatlonghari said.
However, architect Tito Moises Encinas, an advocate of typhoon-resilient infrastructure, said that it would be advantageous if going green is mandated by law.
“Frankly, in practice, sometimes it is very difficult to convince your client to go green because green is expensive at the start. Although cheap in the long-term, initial cost is high,” he said during the press briefing.
Encinas said tax incentives should be given to developers to encourage them to go green as initial costs discourage them to pursue this kind of design.
“Normally, corporate clients would always want to go green. You want a different in your building. Corporate clients don’t just look at the design. They even ask for an explanation of the theory behind the design,” said Encinas.
Both Tatlonghari and Encinas were speakers at the CEBUCONference 2016, the highlight of this year’s CEBUCon construction show in Cebu City last Friday.
Aside from the sustainability forum, CEBUCon, which is on its 24th year, is also holding its annual exhibit at the SM City Cebu Trade Hall, which features the latest construction products and equipment. Today, June 6, is the last day of the exhibit.