Advantages of Green Architecture discussed by Architect Romolo Nati
In a very interesting interview with Alex Zeta, host of the “Home Show Unlimited”, a digital program focusing on real estate and entrepreneurship in Northern Mindanao, Architect Romolo Nati, Chairman, and CEO of Italpinas Development Corporation, told the viewers about his personal experience since he arrived in the Philippines in 2008 and disclosed some interesting stories on how he achieved his company’s success.
Architect Nati started off his interview by noting that “IDC’s core target and value proposition has always been to design and build green buildings at an accessible price in emerging cities in the Philippines. The decision to start right in Northern Mindanao came after thorough research they started in Cagayan de Oro but not before visiting Davao and Gensan. CdO as the gateway city with great growth potential and where the demand for condominium projects still needed to be created as at that time there was none in town and a lot of people were skeptical”.
This was further explained when he underlined that Italpinas started with a condominium to be ahead of the wave and made the analogy of the surfer starting to paddle much before the waveforms under him. That creates the advantage to be the first mover. He further elaborated that “IDC offers a new lifestyle, a new way to live” and “Cagayan was ready for something new”. Uptown, in fact, both Alex Zeta and Romolo Nati agreed, is the “BGC of Cagayan de Oro” and it’s absolutely the best location in town.
Now there are about 15 condos in the city but Nati is not concerned as he stated that “More developers strengthen the real estate market and the location”. Another question of the host was about the challenges to do business in the Philippines compared to Italy wherein Nati answered that it is quite similar to Italy. He reckons that the requirements can sometimes be difficult with the permits and the LGUs but once you comply, the release is on time and they are very professional. The second project in CdO, Primavera City, Nati explained, has 4 phases, 7 buildings, and 1200 units and is designed with principles of passive green design strategies.
This type of design offers shading to cool down the building facades, ample natural ventilation through a ‘chimney system’, production of power with photovoltaic panels that also give shading to the amenities. The walking path on the rooftop is certainly another innovation for Cagayan de Oro and is also an upgrade compared to Primavera Residences. Nati also stated that “we are starting turnover phase 1.” which is great news for the many investors. Both projects, Primavera City and Primavera Residences were awarded “Best mixed-used building South East Asia” at the Property Awards in Kuala Lumpur and in Singapore. He also elaborated on what it means to build green:
“A green building saves energy and water and impacts less on the environment. There are two kinds of green buildings, active and passive. The active ones have a lot of high-tech features which means higher cost and therefore much more expensive. The passive green buildings are green by design, where we study nature and the environment in order to create the appropriate design elements to increase shading, reduce water and energy consumption. Our type of construction doesn’t cost more than other buildings that are not green and we are also rated green by EDGE, a certification method developed by World Bank Group.”
Nati also explained that IDC has expanded to Sto Tomas Batangas and we may see many more projects around the country soon. On lessons learned as entrepreneur and developer: “You cannot do things alone. You need the help of the people that work with you to go the extra mile. I appreciate open talk when people speak their minds. Without them, in Cagayan I would be nobody. It’s about teamwork. Believe in your vision and people feel that.” He also mentioned some negative aspects about being an entrepreneur: “You always will have people that spread rumors and talk bad, in short: enemies. Our success does not depend on our critics. Instead, criticism from clients must be heard and potential issues are fixed.” Quoting Churchill: “if you stop to listen to every dog that barks at you you will never reach your goal”.
Zeta as the last question asked about the top 3 characteristics that every entrepreneur should have. And here they are in Nati’s words: “Be nice with the people as when you climb up the stairs because those will be the same ones you will meet when you climb down. Listen to everyone before taking a decision as 10 minds can probably think better. Be a facilitator. Learn from everyone. Be consistent as the path to success is not a straight line. Values are very important.” The entire interview can be watched on “Home Show Limited” Youtube Channel.