During the RICS ASEAN Forum held last April 4, Marissa Benitez, Director of Valuation and Advisory Services of Colliers International, spoke about Valuation of Green Commercial Property in Manila. Her topics on green building are very informative.
Ramon CF Cuervo III also took part in the forum, answering the question and answers from the participants regarding the green building innovation. He will do the next article on the value of green building and carbon credit income, and how valuable it is to invest in energy savings.
Mr. Cuervo and Ms. Benitez are the only Filipino members of RICS and were special privilege and earned the prestigious designation as a chartered surveyor by RICS.
Green building refers to a structure and using process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle: from sitting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. This requires close cooperation of the design team, the architects, the engineers, and the client at all project stages. The Green Building practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort.
There are a number of motives for building green, including environmental, economic, and social benefits. However, modern sustainability initiatives call for an integrated and synergistic design to both new construction and in the retrofitting of existing structures. Also known as sustainable design, this approach integrates the building life-cycle with each green practice employed with a design-purpose to create a synergy among the practices used.
Green building brings together a vast array of practices, techniques, and skills to reduce and ultimately eliminate the impacts of buildings on the environment and human health. It often emphasizes taking advantage of renewable resources, e.g., using sunlight through passive solar, active solar, and photovoltaic techniques and using plants and trees through green roofs, rain gardens, and reduction of rainwater run-off. Many other techniques are used, such as using wood as a building material, or using packed gravel or permeable concrete instead of conventional concrete or asphalt to enhance replenishment of ground water.
Green buildings use key resources that are more efficient than regular buildings. Using resources such as land, water, energy, and materials more efficiently results in reducing the overall impact of the building to human health and the environment.
It also helps in protecting the health of occupants and employees and thus, improving their productivity. For the environment, green buildings reduce waste, pollution and environmental degradation.
Aside from helping the environment and people’s quality of life, green buildings provides financial benefits than conventional buildings. It cost less to operate because it gives savings to water, electricity and energy, reduced employee health cost, and lower operational and maintenance cost.
For the Philippines, the country has three sustainability initiatives for green building. These are Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC), Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE) Program, and BERDE Green Building Rating System.
According to Ms. Benitez, there are three approaches in valuing green commercial property: (1) Sales Comparison Approach in which is a sufficient recent, transparent and homogenous transactions are required for an accurate valuation, (2) Income Capitalisation Approach in which also a Discounted Cash Flow Analysis (Yield Capitalization Approach), and (3) Depreciated Replacement Cost Approach.
For RESPs, choosing green buildings has key drivers for the market value of green buildings which are lower building operating costs, ease of sale and rent, tenant retention and improved overall occupancy rates
Despite of the advocacy of green buildings worldwide, there are also some limitations in the Philippines. We have limited application. We only have two green buildings in the country that are both LEED certified.
Lack of real estate valuers with technical terms or ratings standards used in sustainability initiatives with the exception of plant and machinery valuers is another limitation. RESP’s need to learn more in order to be competent in technical terms or ratings standards used in sustainability initiatives.
Other limitations include acceptability of sustainability initiatives to developers, lack of local valuation guidelines/ standards/benchmarks for valuers, limited information/data and sustainability benefit cannot be quantified, such as improving the quality of life.
The only two green buildings in the country that are both LEED certified are The Zuellig Building in Makati City and Sunlife Building in Taguig City.
The Zuellig Building is a 33-story office skyscraper owned by the Zuellig Group. Developed by its real estate arm, the Bridgebury Realty Corp., it has a height of 155 meters or 508.53 feet and has a total floor area of 62,800 sqm. that are available for rent, 59,900 sqm. of prime-grade office space in the tower, and 2,900 sqm. in the retail pavilion. The building has acquired a pre-certification at Gold Level under the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) program of the U.S. Green Building Council.
Zuellig Building stands on a prime piece of land with a total land area of 8,285 square meters on Makati Avenue. The exterior of the office skyscraper has an all-glass facade and large floor-to-ceiling glazing panels. The design of this office skyscraper was inspired by bamboo and flowing water with its distinctive texture being associated with the local organic motifs and shading capabilities of the structure. The glass panel used in Zuellig Building is double-paned with low-emissivity (low-E) which minimizes solar heat gain and energy loss and at the same time maximizes the utlization of natural daylight.
Green architecture principles have the following “green” advantages–energy savings of approximately 15% (4.3 million kWh annually) compared with a conventional ASHRAE-compliant building; power-saving lights; water conservation of approximately 71% (29 million litres annually) through the recycling of grey water, collection of rain water, and condensate water; carbon dioxide monitoring; landscaped surroundings; daylight for 90% of interior spaces; green terraces in the sky garden’s retail pavilion; and employee productivity and wellness.
Another green building is the Sunlife Building in Global City, Taguig. According to the website of Sunlife, the building has already been pre-certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design(LEED) for Core and Shell Development. It is also raring to be certified for LEED Commercial Interiors, another validation of its commitment to a sustainable building system.
The Sun Life Centre is working towards the distinction of being the first green building in the Philippines to receive the Gold level LEED certification for Core and Shell development and for Commercial Interiors. “Its features are expected to set the standard for premium office buildings in the Bonifacio Global City,” said Armand Apuya, Sun Life Philippines Administrative Services Head, who is also in charge of building design and construction.
Lower energy costs are one of the amenities that set the Sun Life Centre apart. Its double-glazed low emissivity glass allows daylight to come in while blocking outside noise and heat, helping reduce harmful emissions and minimize the use of cooling devices.
Another stellar feature is the green roof, where a rain harvesting system can irrigate rainwater for non-potable usage. “The green roof will mitigate the ‘heat island effect’, which transforms buildings into pocket islands of heat. Because of vegetation, Sun Life Centre’s green roof will absorb the urban heat while also serving as an outdoor garden,” explained Apuya.
Aside from savings in energy use, a green building such as the Sun Life Centre also addresses the ‘sick building syndrome.’ It refers to ailments mostly related to poor indoor air quality in the office, usually from a building’s ventilation system. Given the reduced use of air conditioning and the increased circulation of natural air, Sun Life’s new home is beneficial for the wellness of its tenants.
With references from:
- Marissa Benitez