Italpinas and EDGE Green Building Certification
The first green condominium in Cagayan de Oro has been awarded the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies, a green building certification system focused on making new residential and commercial buildings more resource-efficient.
International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, the innovator of EDGE (“Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies”), awarded its green building certification to the twin-tower Primavera Residences, a mixed-use mid-rise condominium development in Uptown Cagayan de Oro, Philippines.
The twin-tower building is the flagship development of Italpinas Development Corporation (IDC), and is the first completed condominium project in East Asia.
Recently, IDC is also working towards the EDGE certification of Primavera City, its second development in Cagayan de Oro and Miramonti Residences, its first development in Batangas.
“We maintain our propositions to work towards delivering green sustainable buildings by partnering with IFC of The World Bank through its EDGE certification,” said Ar. Romolo Nati, IDC Chairman and CEO.
IFC’s EDGE (“Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies”) is a new green building certification system created for emerging markets. It provides clients with technical solutions for going green and captures capital costs and projected operational savings, in order to prove the business case for building green. While the drivers behind EDGE are financial, the results are environmental – EDGE helps mitigate climate change by encouraging resource-efficient development.
To qualify for EDGE certification, companies must utilize the EDGE software to prove their building design will reduce energy, water, and embodied energy in building materials by at least 20 percent compared to a conventional building. EDGE allows design teams and project owners to assess the most cost-effective ways to incorporate energy and water saving options into homes, hotels, hospitals, offices and retail spaces. Projects that achieve a 20 percent projected reduction in use of energy, water and embodied energy in materials, compared to conventional buildings, are eligible for EDGE certification.
“Now that our building has been certified green by the World Bank’s IFC, our units also increased its value in terms of being genuinely eco-friendly with its green features. IDC, once again, has proven to be able to deliver profit not only to shareholders but also to the most important stakeholders—our valued residents,” Nati stressed. Construction of the first tower started in 2008 and developer Italpinas Development Corp. (IDC) was finally awarded the green certification after a stringent and lengthy process.
Meeting the standard
EDGE is composed of a web-based software application, a universal standard and a certification system. Buildings have to meet the standard to be certified. A distinct feature of Italpinas projects is its use of both passive and active green systems by shape performance and natural ventilation system Shading control and shading. In shape performance, the building volumes shape and profiles let in the prevailing winds at the lower levels, block their direct way out on the opposite side and convey their flow into vertical voids or courtyards. This simple technique, characteristic of hot climate areas where the stone construction is largely diffused since the ancient times, generate a chimney effect that increase the natural cross ventilation of the apartments facing on one side on the exterior and on the other in the internal court.
In IDC’s projects, façades are usually shaded by cantilevered ledges that protect windows from direct contact with the sun’s rays during the hottest times of the day. The dimensions and placement of these ledges are optimized using parametric design software, taking into account the exact path traveled by the sun through the sky, each day throughout the year, at the building site’s precise latitude on the earth.
Active technologies such as solar panels are also used on all of IDC projects to ensure that building users will be able to harvest energy from the sun. For Primavera City, Cagayan de Oro’s latest green building, it will have a rain water harvesting system which will enable to users to efficiently use rainwater.
Pioneering sustainable projects in Mindanao
Clara Marie Asuncion Elizaga, director for corporate affairs and branding for Primavera City IDC said the Cagayan de Oro project has been receiving a warm reception from the market because IDC is pioneering the development of sustainable projects in the country.
“We know other developers have integrated green components in their projects but for IDC all our projects are green-centric,” Elizaga said.
“The reception of the market is enthusiasm over a new innovation, because we were the first in developing this type of building in Mindanao area. All our properties are green. We have both active and passive green technologies to date,” she added.
Elizaga said IDC has a social obligation the need to keep educating the public because green technology is still relatively new in the market.
She said the company pursues an “informal” corporate social responsibility (CSR) program to promoting sustainable architecture to students pursuing architecture.
“Whenever we are able to touch base with students, it is the company’s passion to share what it knows,” Elizaga said.
IDC currently has partnerships with the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines in Cagayan de Oro, and Lyceum University of the Philippines in Alabang.
The company is also conducting talks with students in real estate management courses about green building and its advantages in conserving and re-using energy and water.
Climate change and real estate investments
Climate Change brings with it shifts in the landscape of real estate investment. Environmental geographical information such as flood prone zones, susceptibility to flood, seismic zone, geological hazards and other climate change factors now play a role when we talk about real estate investment.
“We are not anymore looking solely on location versus current economic activities, but we are looking ahead, and evaluating location based on environmental factors, climate change and sustainability. And thus, have to take in consideration not only the vulnerabilities but also formulating adaptive measures and create sustaining emerging cities to balance economic development and ensure growth in the real estate industry” said Atty. Jose D. Leviste III, IDC President.
“Climate Change brings both a challenge and an opportunity in real estate investment. It is a challenge, since we must take into consideration adaptive measures through either through architectural and design structures or through climate change adaptation strategies. It is also an opportunity as we identify new areas for economic growth and development. Emerging cities play a major role not only on decentralization of economic activities, but these emerging cities are potential growth areas for future investments” added Ar. Romolo Nati, IDC Chairman and COO.
IDC is currently constructing the first phase, Citta Verde of the Primavera City project in Uptown Cagayan de Oro. Expansion plans are being readied for the second, third and fourth phase development.