Green certification, the Arya Residences way

ArthaLand Corp is  brandishing not just one but two green certifications for its property development Arya Residences which highlight the company’s thrust towards ecologically-responsive development for this  first project in Bonifacio Global City.

The two-tower residential project at the corner of McKinley Parkway and 7th avenue has earned its second green building certificate, this time from the local Philippine Green Building Council which established the Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE).

This makes Arya Residences the first residential project to have green building certifications, and two at that.

“Greening the real estate sector is a very important step for all the stakeholders in the industry. Standardizing the greening measure is a major step to encourage developers to take the sustainability thrust seriously,” said Angi de Villa-Lacson, Arthaland president.

“We believe that we are encouraging our peers in the industry to up the ante in integrating, efficiency and responsible usage of resources in the development that we build,” said added.

Arya Residences thus becomes the pilot site for the BERDE’s standards for high-rise residential projects which will highlight the quality that is offered by the local green building standard. Prior to this, Arya Residences  earned the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) of the US Green Building Council.

Under the BERDE standard, the design of the project must promote the practice of improving indoor air quality, enhancing efficiency in water usage, promoting energy efficiency and conservation, establishing solid water management practices, and advancing eco-friendly site development, apart from espousing further utilization of green materials in all phases of the building construction.

Nina Sayson-Cordero, vice president for project and business developments, said development of the P6.2 billion Arya Residences is on its second tower development after the topping off of the first tower has been completed. Tower II of Arya Residences costs P3.54 billion, offering 211 units through its 43 floors of development, featuring two-, three-, and four-bedroom units with selling price at an average of P145,000 per square meter.

Tower I is fully-sold, according de Villa.

The dual-certification for Arya Residences  highlights the growing appreciation of the eco-responsive developments in the Philippines to promote a more environment-friendly community.

This is despite the lack of incentives that can encourage market players to adapt the new approach.

A  study conducted by CB Richared Ellis in 2009 showed that developing a green building at its most basic level of certification may raise costs between 2 and 3 percent, with higher levels of standard  likely to add between 5 and  7.5 percent to construction cost.

CB Richard Ellis  the earlier the greening is incorporated into the conceptualization phase of a project,  the lesser its impact on the cost.

Urban planner Felipe Palafox Jr. has a higher computation of  10 percent to the cost.

Palafox said there should be an effort to have greening incentives in the Philippines to further encourage developers to adopt green technologies and designs for their projects.

“They could do something that could lessen the cost of buying these equipments,” Palafox said.

Palafox noted that countries like Singapore, Dubai, and several other countries, provide these incentives to green practitioners, which even come in the form of incentives.

Miguel C. Guerrero III  of the United Architects of the Philippines, notes among developers cost is one reason there is a slow adoption for green buildings.

“It’s more because of the desire of cost saving. While developers are not yet that active in developing environment-friendly buildings, they are encouraged to look at it because of end-users’ desire to save on cost of maintaining a house. The bottomline is cost,” said Guerrero in a past interview with Malaya Business Insight.

Guerrero said adoption of green technologies is more pronounced at present than in the past as consumers try to save in maintaining their homes.

Ramon Fernando Rufino, vice president at property developer The Net Group, also said that the limited presence of green building in the Philippines is also due to the lack of available green units,  as pioneering works for these are mostly commissioned by developer-owners.

The Net Group is a member PhilGBC, which has piloted BERDE on its project Net Lima which will rise in the business district of Bonifacio Global City.

Rufino said “trends” point to a boost in interest for green buildings that will result to increased awareness and appreciation in the Philippines.

“Do we know the potential? No. It’s very hard to say. We don’t have data yet,” said Rufino in a past interview with Malaya.

Rufino said it is exciting to see developers “choose to go green which is more costly and complicated than the tradition development.”

“The market is not yet well established, but already you will see the trend,” he said.

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