People, planet, profit. In a nutshell, these are the things that benefit from green buildings. Incorporating preservation of the environment in architecture, green buildings use less harmful materials and solutions, which then translates to better well-being for occupants. As they rely on clean, renewable energy, they minimize costs associated with the maintenance of the property. In other words, green buildings provide a win-win solution for everyone.
Considering the benefits from green buildings, local government units have been introducing green policies in their respective communities. These are some of those LGUs that have green building codes in place:
The largest city in Metro Manila passed its green building ordinance in 2009, requiring the “design, construction or retrofitting of buildings, other structures, and movable properties to meet minimum standards of a green infrastructure.” In particular, they must:
- Use renewable building materials
- Install and use insulation and energy reduction and efficiency mechanisms
- Use solid waste and wastewater treatment schemes
- Incorporate green architecture
- Reduce greenhouse gases and other volatile organic compounds
Incentives for compliant buildings: The local government offers a green building tax credit for those who are constructing a green building or retrofitting an existing one to make it green.
Popular green buildings in the area: Laguna Lake Development Authority Building, Seda Vertis North, Vivaldi Residences, Ylang Lane Townhouses
Metro Manila’s Tiger City approved its green building ordinance in 2014, covering specific types of properties. It applies to residential buildings with a total floor area greater than 20,000 square meters, office buildings with total floor area greater than 10,000 square meters, and mixed-use buildings with total floor area greater than 10,000 square meters, among others. Hotels, hospitals, and government buildings are also covered. These are the areas that the local government measures when certifying green buildings:
- Energy efficiency
- Water efficiency
- Materials and waste management
- Indoor environmental quality
- Site sustainability
Incentives for compliant buildings: The local government automatically grants increased building height limit and floor area ratio. They will also offer real property tax discounts on machinery and improvement.
Popular green buildings in the area: Asian Development Bank, The Boni Tower, Unilab Corporate Center
To reduce environmental impact, the local government of Pasig has a green building ordinance and rainwater catchment ordinance, as mentioned in this article. In a nutshell, the legislative measures urge building owners to:
- Satisfy green building and landscape requirements
- Use sustainable design and construction practices
- Install rainwater harvesting systems to conserve and manage resources
Popular green buildings in the area: The Glaston Tower and Hanston Square
Urging building owners to use eco-friendly features in developments, this first-class city in Central Visayas passed its green building ordinance in 2015. Among the requirements in green building projects are maximized sunlight and natural ventilation. The city adopted the BERDE Green Building Rating System as the certifying tool for developments.
Incentives for compliant buildings: The local government offers a five to 25 percent discount on real property tax for BERDE-certified buildings.
Popular green buildings in the area: Mandani Bay Suites and Robinland Business Center
Before the Queen City of the South approved its own green building ordinance this year, the Cebu province already had green building regulations. Operators are mandated to comply with BERDE standards in greening developments. Nonetheless, Cebu City introduced its own ordinance.
Last February, its city council approved the policy requiring green practices on the design, construction, and rehabilitation of buildings and other structures. The legislative measure applies to all vertical structures, newly constructed, remodeled, renovated, and retrofitted, whether or not used for commercial, industrial, residential, institutional, or agricultural purposes.
Incentives for compliant buildings: The local government follows a system of tax discount, depending on the compliance to different criteria, namely the use of renewable energy, use of energy-efficient technology, provision of open spaces, and use of environment-friendly materials.
Popular green buildings in the area: Cebu Exchange and Teleperformance Cebu
From reducing environmental impact to promoting better health and increased cost savings, green buildings offer a host of undeniable benefits for the greater society. As local government units step up to the challenge of climate action, enforcing laws and regulations on the construction industry, witnessing and living in sustainable, eco-conscious communities won’t be a far-fetched reality in the country.