Pandemic-Proof Workplace: How LEED buildings stand out

Sustainable real estate is now taking the spotlight, especially in the post-lockdown landscape. Apart from the increasing concern towards Climate Change, pandemic proofing the workplace in green buildings has proven to become easier.

In the Philippines, demand for premium spaces that put its occupants’ wellness and safety. According to the Singapore Green Building Council, the technologies employed by green buildings can help the world prepare for a future when pandemics are more common. Green accreditation can be acquired for certain developments such as JEG Tower @ One Acacia by complying with the standards set by the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED).

Aside from its significant mindfulness of how buildings are built, energy- and water-efficient buildings are equipped with state-of-the-art filtration features that are more likely to reduce respiratory infections and other cardiovascular diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) also acknowledged the shift in priority when it comes to places where people congregate or spend time in as it can save lives, lower threats to the health condition of a community, and improve quality of life.  

How to pandemic-proof the office

Looking at office space options in Cebu? Contact Mike Glindro at (+63) 917-825-6884 or email to mike.g@kmcmaggroup.com.

Beyond Green: Why you should expand to Cebu

Despite the severe impacts of the COVID-19 in the Philippines and subsequent lockdowns, Metro Cebu continues to prove its viability as the Visayan business center. Apart from its push for sustainability, the city’s holistic recovery picks up momentum as measures are put into place to contain the pandemic and ensure the health, safety, and business posterity.

Here are a few reasons why you should locate to Cebu:

  • Strengthened COVID-19 response

    After a longer stay in Enhanced Community Quarantine, the Department of Health confirmed that Cebu has recently recorded its lowest number of cases last September 28, 2020, with only 3 confirmed patients. The local government through its Emergency Operations Center has been actively taking measures to contain the virus, contact tracing, and alleviate the number of active cases.

    The EOC monitors areas or key locations with high foot traffic such as markets, supermarkets, construction, and government offices. Local officials have also actively implemented swabbing of locally stranded individuals and placed a testing station in Pier 1.

  • Safer Construction Practices

    Workplace safety protocols are being applied across all sectors. Beyond offices, safer construction is also being pushed by the Cebu LGU. This action plan came after the high transmission observed among workers going on site.

    Improved health measures are now being implemented such as swab testing shouldered by the DOH while food and isolation expenses will be carried by contractors or project owners. To further streamline the process of contact tracing, construction firms are tasked to assign a health and infection prevention officer.

    Stricter implementation of physical distancing and monitoring of construction sites are also being done to protect employee welfare and guarantee safer spaces within the metro.

  • Push for Greener Cebu

    Mobility has been a major point of concern as community quarantines have been implemented nationwide. There has been a rise in bikers in the city as an alternative for public transportation.

    In support of energy-efficient and ecologically friendly initiatives, bike lanes have been marked and painted green to allocate space for two-wheeled, non-motorized vehicles depending on an area’s lane space. It will also encourage and ensure safer travel as it is separated by a white line from regular cars or transport.

    Real estate developers have also actively pivoted their developments for more sustainable and resilient amenities or features. Commercial towers and offices such as JEG Tower are offering biophilic spaces and buildings to place the metro at the forefront of this green recovery that prioritizes the environment and the wellness of its occupants.

  • Healthier investment, business activity

    Despite the challenges, future-proofing of investments has been a point of focus for local institutions and key stakeholders. In preparation for the post-pandemic landscape, new opportunities in infrastructure, water, and energy continue to move forward led by Vivant Corporation to better serve the Cebuano community.

    According to reports, Vivant is looking for water supply solutions in parched areas in Cebu including other areas in the Philippines by looking at bulk water supply, distribution, wastewater treatment, and water engineering.

    Cebu LGU also partnered with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry in providing a support program for all enterprises including microentrepreneurs. Through the “SUGBO Negosyo” program, entrepreneurs can access seminars, and get assistance in business registration and other business development services.

  • Better workplaces

    Cebu-based developments continue to produce premium spaces that foster a safe and productive working environment. Developers such as JEG Development Corporations are upgrading their building-based measures by adding touchless or contactless fixtures inside their high rise, JEG Tower @ One Acacia. Entryways are equipped with thermal scanners and automatic doors. Well-ventilated spaces such as pocket green spaces and unique green roofs are also made accessible.

    They are also encouraging proper hygiene and sanitation to prevent transmission by leveraging smart technology. Its common areas with high foot traffic such as restrooms are equipped with sensor-prompted, state-of-the-art hand dryers with anti-bacterial additives. As a LEED-certified building, it has armed its offered spaces with MERV-13 filtration that will complement its top-of-the-line HVAC system.

Interested in locating to Cebu? Contact Lorenzo Rodriguez at (+63) 917-825-6884 or email lorenzo.rodriguez@kmcmaggroup.com to discuss your options.

How Green Roofs Can help the environment

Sustainable developments are growing increasingly in demand especially with the calls to act on Climate Change and the realization of the severe impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. According to the World Green Building Council, green buildings now go beyond the environment as it can also create resilient and thriving communities, and drive economic growth.

Advancement in climate-proof construction paves the way for more estates to adopt sustainable features. One of the widely considered amenities is the Green Roof. The US Environmental Protection Agency defined it as a layer of vegetation grown on the rooftop to provide shade, remove heat from the air, and reduce temperature on the surface.

More urbanized cities move to encourage green roofs on most buildings due to its main benefits: temperature and energy. US EPA reported that these roofs significantly lower the heat island effect during the day, and the city-wide ambient temperature. According to studies, it can drop temperatures by 30 – 40 degrees Fahrenheit lower than the conventional roofing.

Green roofs also prove to be more cost-efficient in terms of energy as developments record 0.7% less usage after it reduced electricity demand. This leads to annual savings of $ 0.23 per square foot of the roof’s surface, making it increasingly popular globally.

The shift to resilient and green buildings can also directly impact overall recovery. It can result in the creation of more job opportunities and boost economic growth further due to innovation to deliver appropriate technology and healthy manufacturing or construction activity.

The Co-Benefits of Green Roofs

The advantages of green roofs have a direct relationship to society and the environment. Apart from temperature and energy efficiency, it has a role to play in minimizing the risks of pollution and building better biodiversity in urban areas.

The plants in the green roof can help clean or purify the air that guarantees that communities within and outside the building breathe better. The reduction in ambient temperature makes the working environment cooler and produces a more comfortable indoor climate while lessening the demand on the air conditioning system. Building who use solar panels can also do well with a green roof as it maximizes its efficiency without the burden of high energy costs.

Green roofs can also act as a sound barrier. It can absorb sound that provides for quieter surroundings and less noise pollution inside and outside of the building. Enhanced property protection is also an observable selling point of a green roof as plants tend to create more moisture reducing the risk of fires, and it can also cover roofing material from external factors that can further extend its lifespan.

Increased biodiversity can also improve city environments as it becomes a habitat for birds, butterflies and insects, and plants. Such greenery also promotes healing and interactions. These spaces can help put people in better moods and trigger positive emotions while maintaining social interaction and movement in well-ventilated areas.

A Move Toward A Greener Philippines

The Philippines is at the forefront of installing green spaces or biophilic design in real estate. In Cebu, JEG Tower @ One Acacia is one of the few developments that take the responsibility of creating more sustainable spaces to protect the health and wellness of its community.

Developer, JEG Development Corporation is committed to bringing a greener approach to its high-rise tower. The addition of ground floor gardens, pocket green spaces for better ventilation, and a state-of-the-art green roof continues to herald its dedication to sustainability. Apart from a diverse curation of flora and fauna, a live tree will also be placed on the rooftop to further preserve the natural elements and biodiversity it carries.

Discuss your green building options today! Contact Michael Glindro at (+63) 917-584-0443 or email him at mike.g@kmcmaggroup.com.

Workplace Re-Entry 101: Why choose green buildings as your next office

As many industries move to expedite their recovery from the severe impacts of COVID-19, the inevitable return to the office has been a point of concern. Globally, sustainable developments have been recognized as a key contributor in helping more companies transition back to the post-lockdown world.

The World Economic Forum believes that a green recovery must be kickstarted. Apart from having access to healthier food or improved social mobility, sustainability is a much more resilient approach in planning infrastructure found in our cities and neighborhood. It is ideal to start constructing better structures or refurbishing existing ones for a greener space given its holistic benefits.

According to the World Green Building Council, green buildings could help in the fight against COVID-19 or any public health emergencies through two key elements: prevention and control. These estates go beyond the minimum health protocols of physical distancing and isolation through its building based measures.

Pushing for sustainable spaces cover the basics of community management, disinfection, environmental cleaning, access to medical assistance, and ventilation. Most green buildings feature natural ventilation, improved indoor air quality and filtration, and efficient waste management. It can also employ It Destination-oriented allocation system elevators and include biophilic design to their overall workplace design.

For LEED-accredited buildings, the efficiency of water, air, and energy systems are prioritized and monitored beyond cost or responding to the concerns brought about by the pandemic. As a pre-certified Silver LEED building, JEG Tower @ One Acacia has made sure that its Heat, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system are sealed even during construction. It also installed the MERV-13 filter to further protect the health of the occupants and the environment they work in.

As more buildings move to highlight their health performance, other developments add UV-C sanitation measures to their office or commercial amenities and fixtures. In Cebu, JEG Tower also takes notes of key disinfection measures dedicated to common areas such as the bathrooms. The building is equipped with the most-hygienic hand dryers that have HEPA filters and anti-bacterial additives to avoid contamination in their spaces.

Countless smart technology can be used to offer premium green offices. According to the Singapore Green Building Council, taking advantage of innovative systems, buildings will be able to adjust to the post-COVID-19 environment with improved safety and sustainability. This can be seen in sensor-enabled entry through automatic doors, self-check thermal scanners, and foot handles that can be utilized for a touchless or contactless experience that adds inherent protection to these spaces.

Beyond the investment in physical health and better working environments, patronizing a green recovery will also help boost the economy. According to the World Bank, it can bring more jobs in the short term and consistent growth in the long run as investing in natural capital, resource efficiency, and sustainable and clean energy production have a higher economic multiplier.

The shift to sustainability will definitely provide better opportunities to transition better to the new normal and grow a healthier community, safer spaces, and a much more resilient economy globally.

Looking to expand or locate to a green building? Contact Lorenzo Rodriguez at +63 917 825 6884 or send an email to lorenzo.rodriguez@kmcmaggroup.com to discuss your options.