Is the Philippines Ready for More Sustainable Development?

Investing in technology that is geared towards sustainability and resilience will be the standard for commercial and residential properties, moving forward. In fact, the United Nations has prepared a roadmap to towards sustainability until the year 2030. This report covers multiple areas of the society — from governance, the economy, and urban planning and design. Recent global events have also raised the discussion of pushing for green real estate and technology to promote the health and general wellbeing of communities around the world. 

Sustainability in real estate has long been a standing movement in the industry. More awareness and campaigns have been made to encourage the shift towards sustainability as the United Nations Environment Programme reported that the building sector has the potential to make energy savings of 50% or more in 2050. The US Energy Information Administration also supported this claim as the organization reported that this increased demand for energy was driven by residential and commercial establishments

According to a 2018 report, real estate can be a powerful driver for corporate sustainability and for making the Sustainable Development Goals a reality. 

The discourse on the importance of uplifting the health and wellness of building occupants was also raised as the world combats the COVID-19 pandemic. Various workplace protocols and guidelines were modified and implemented to protect the safety of public and common spaces, including the workplace. Buildings are also optimizing their technology and design to prevent another health crisis in the future. 

RELATED: Optimizing Buildings for Disease Prevention 

In the Philippines, green real estate is starting to become the new standard in the residential and commercial sector. According to the Urban Land Institute (ULI),  green markets tend to thrive in developing economies, and the Philippines is now transitioning into a culture that advocates sustainable design and technologies. 

The Building Owners and Managers Association of the Philippines noted that the government are also starting to create policies that will benefit the green movement in real estate. Eduardo Manahan, the organization’s chairman said that the country is on the road to building greener and smarter communities

“We have a law pending in Congress about green building, and we are also in the process of approving the revision of the National Building Code,” Manahan said in a 2018 interview. “Once approved, everybody should follow, and the buildings should be compliant with these things,” he added. 

The shift towards more sustainable and greener developments will also make the country a more globally attractive investment destination for commerce and real estate. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has also released policy-making guidelines for countries to support green growth and development in different sectors. 

RELATED: Shift to Sustainability: Highlighting Green Real Estate in the Philippines 

JEG Development Corporation is one of the frontrunners of sustainable real estate in Cebu and in the Philippines. It’s first high-rise commercial development, JEG Tower @ One Acacia is set to be one of the first premium green buildings within the Cebu Busines District.  

“JEG Tower is one of a new crop of office developments in Cebu that are raising the standards of buildings in our city,” JDC Estate and Business Development Manager Stefan Garcia explains. “Our company has placed a lot of resources to build the best workspace in the city.” 

From the building’s design to the construction processes, and operations, JEG Tower is energy efficient and environmentally friendly. It is also one of the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified structures. It is currently pre-certified at the Silver level for building design and construction (LEED BD+C). The Tower will also operationalize using less water and electrical power than many of the structures currently in the city’s central business district. It is expected to emit less in terms of dangerous greenhouse gases. 

Want to learn more about Philippine Real Estate’s shift towards sustainability?

Reach out to Michael Glindro at mike.g@kmcmaggroup.com or (+63) 917-584-0443. Send an email to info@kmcmaggroup.com or call us at (+632) 8403-5519

How Green Buildings Contribute to your Health and Safety

Green buildings are designed to prioritize the general well-being of its occupants by ensuring their health and safety. As the world learned lessons on the importance of the environment concerning public health, a shift towards the construction and development of sustainable green buildings becomes highlighted.  

Changes in the demographics of the workforce and the requirements of a healthy workspace have greatly influenced this innovation in real estate and construction. Initially, the sustainability angle was about reducing the environmental impacts of buildings. However, as the community includes health and wellness in their top priorities, green developers started widening the scope of the advantages of staying in one.  

RELATED: How LEED certification can help prevent disease spread in the future  

Green buildings provide amenities and spaces that are designed and built with an optimized environment that may be beneficial to their tenants’ health and wellbeing. Contributing to an individual’s physical, mental, and emotional wellness, here are 5 reasons why staying in a green building is good for you:  

How-Green-Buildings-Contribute-to-your-Health-and-Safety-content-compressor

Better Brain Function  

Studies prove that the brain’s cognitive performance is greatly affected by the environment it is in. Green buildings impact a person’s cognitive function by improving focus and motivation. One research found that occupants of a green building scored higher in cognitive tests, slept better, and reported fewer health symptoms. 

READ MORE: How green buildings improve indoor air quality & provide a healthier working environment  

Encourages Movement and Activity  

Green buildings are designed to support the physical needs of an individual’s health standards. Spaces inside a green building are conducive environments that provide more opportunities for exercise and physical activity. Designated amenities and equipment are made available in rooms and common areas. Bike racks and shower rooms are also provided for the convenience and comfort of the tenants that wish to exercise.  

Hosts Collaboration and Communication   

Green buildings promote a person’s health and overall wellness by bringing positive social and emotional benefits too. Various health and wellness programs can be a venue for socialization and an opportunity for its tenants to build relationships and connect more.  

Provides Space for Detox and Meditation  

Green buildings also prioritize the mental health of their tenants. More than just contributing to better cognitive function, they also provide spaces that can be used for stress relief and meditation. Green areas and spaces can also relax the brain as the color is associated with calmness.  

RELATED: Taking care of your mental health – Why it matters in a time of a pandemic 

Built for Resilience  

Green buildings are also designed and built under the highest standards for resilience. Engineers, architects, and building designers work together to increase planning to cope with natural disasters and environmental threats. Moreover, sustainable materials are also used to construct green buildings, reducing its negative impacts on the environment.  

Interested in locating in a green building too? Contact Michael Glindro at (+63) 917-584-0443 or through mike.g@kmcmaggroup.com. You may also reach out to us at (+63) 2-8403-5519 or through info@kmcmaggroup.com.  

Shift to Sustainability – Highlighting Green Real Estate in the Philippines

The role of health has taken the spotlight as the government, along with other industries have been taking the initial steps to the new normal. More emphasis has been given to creating resilient and sustainable buildings that will further support the promotion of public health and wellness, especially in the workplace.  

Sustainability has been an enduring trend in real estate for decades. Aside from the negative health and economic effects, the COVID-19 pandemic also revealed how massive the impact of economic activity and building & construction has on the environment.  

According to the Urban Land Institute (ULI), healthy design and construction of green buildings should be prioritized now more than ever as they do not only key determinants of market competitiveness and investment appeal, but as more private estates aim to make sustainable and green real estate the standard in the Philippines.  

RELATED: JEG Tower at One Acacia: A sustainable landmark rises – Property Report PH  

Some publications have been suggesting that sustainability in real estate should be the new norm and should be the new standard post-pandemic. Optimizing residential and commercial structures to promote health and hygiene, and at the same time, contribute lesser negative impacts to the environment should be the focus of shift in the real estate landscape in the Philippines.  

Sustainable buildings, especially those that are certified by LEED, WELL, or BERDE in the country implements specialized measures that do not only prevent disease and potential outbreaks in the future but greatly contribute to the security and protection of public health in communities.  

RELATED: Optimizing Buildings for Disease Prevention  

Buildings and public spaces play a huge role in disease prevention and control. From its design to operations, buildings contribute to the battle against the spread of viruses in workplaces and offices. While other commercial establishments will only start to adapt to these newer standards after the coronavirus outbreak, sustainable and green buildings that were already certified by programs such as LEED have long been uplifting the quality of the work environment and promoting the health and well-being of their tenants.  

Driven to push forward this initiative to become the new standard, JEG Development Corporation (JDC) has specifically partnered with Casas+Architects to design this 22-floor tower towards sustainability, using environment-friendly materials and would operationalize as energy-efficient as possible.  

JEG Tower @ One Acacia has been one of the few commercial establishments in Cebu City that advocates for the overall health and wellness—not only of their tenants but the community as a whole. Earning its Silver pre-certification even before launching, this is JEG Tower’s commitment to the continuous betterment and upliftment of their fellow Cebuano’s lives, especially now after a pandemic.  

RELATED: Defining Innovation in Real Estate  

In addition, JEG Tower was designed in such a way that tenants are also encouraged to lead a more sustainable lifestyle for themselves, not just as a defense against potential health crises in the future. This is also part of the general mission of JDC to improve life in Cebu City.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a healthy community is a prepared community. The best way of preparing for potential outbreaks in the future is by ensuring that the health of the overall community. Envisioned as one of the most preferred work locations for Cebuanos, JEG Tower @ One Acacia will not only offer office spaces that will boost employee productivity but also provide a space where their health and well-being is the main priority. 

The Importance of Public Health in Communities

There is a renewed global recognition of the importance of health and wellness after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the world continues to learn lessons on the safety and protection of communities, the focus is now shifted on why public health in communities is a crucial point of discussion

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a healthy community is a prepared community. The best way of preparing for potential outbreaks in the future is by ensuring that the health of the overall community. Public or Community Health is a term used to describe the state of health and how easy or difficult it is to be healthy where people live, learn, work, and play. An effective way of preparing for future health risks is starting within communities, working on the way up to a larger scale.  

Experts say that even without the existence of health emergencies or threats, public health should be one of the main priorities of local authorities and national governments. This includes the continuous promotion of good nutrition, physical activity, and proper hygiene. 

In the report by the World Health Organization, a safe and healthy community can be ensured through effective policymaking and guidelines administration that is focused on stopping the infection. Healthcare workers are tasked to implement the standard precautions for basic infection control depending on the possible patient demographic such as children or the elderly. 

Additional protective measures may be deemed necessary such as lessening the exposure to and transmission of pathogens using PPEs and other engineering or environmental controls, especially in ventilation.  

In relation to effective policymaking for public health, recommendations are being made to make policies more inclusive and non-discriminatory for communities. Protective measures and solutions that are recognized as inclusive and durable must cover the improvement of living conditions including detention centers, and comprehensive workforce policy. 

RELATED: Optimizing Buildings for Disease Prevention   

In the “New Normal”, integrating these protective measures to how schools, workplace, and how other industries operate will be vital. Mandatory measures such as temperature checking and requiring health clearances will be done to ensure the wellness of the community in each location or sector. The CDC is also pushing for the strict compliance of regular disinfection of all environmental surfaces to help lower the risk and considering the possible presence of the elderly or the immunocompromised in the said community.  

RELATED: How LEED Certification can help prevent disease spread in the future 

Providing a workplace setting that uplifts and prioritizes the overall health and wellness of its employees creates a huge impact on public health. As active members of the community, employees who spend the majority of their day working in office setups should be in a work environment that ensures their safety and wellbeing, not only during a pandemic or once there is a threat to their health. 

Premium green buildings, such as JEG Tower @ One Acacia, invests in the well-being of their tenants by optimizing their building design and operations. Following industry standards, these commercial establishments put a premium on their health, while practicing sustainability and energy efficiency. 

Ways to strengthen your immune system during a pandemic

Since the vaccine for COVID-19 is still on the works, the World Health Organization has advised the public that proper handwashing and hygiene practices, as well as social distancing, remains to be the best defense against the virus. Experts also agree that a strong immune system can keep you healthy and give you a sense of control in an uncertain time.  

Eat right and keep a balanced diet  

One of the most effective ways of keeping a healthy immune system is eating right. Begin by filling your plate with immune-boosting fruits and vegetables such as carrots, kale, oranges, strawberries, and broccoli. Eggs, milk, nuts, and mushrooms can also provide necessary vitamins and nutrients to keep your immunity up during a pandemic.  

Get active and exercise  

Physical activity can give your immune system a great boost in a myriad of ways. Researchers have shown that exercise improves immune systems. Exercising regularly improves your body’s natural production of antibodies that help in fighting viruses and infection.  

Relax and try meditation  

Living through a pandemic is a very stressful circumstance that it can negatively affect the immune system and take a toll on a person’s mental health. A recent study involving more than 1,600 people has suggested that meditation boosts their immune system. Meditation can be as simple as taking time in the morning or at night, relaxing, and breathing properly and emptying your mind.  

Stress and anxiety management  

Numerous studies have linked stress and the immune system. In fact, a study has proven that psychological stress increases susceptibility to illness. According to health experts, prolonged or chronic stress can negatively impact the immune system as it reduces the body’s natural ability to fight viruses and bacteria. Moreover, people under a lot of stress are more likely to develop poor coping strategies such as excessive alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, poor diet, or lack of sleep which also negatively impact the immune system. 

How LEED Certification can help Prevent Disease Spread in the Future

The current pandemic has brought a 180-degree change in the way people live and work. Some of these changes may be temporary, but some might be permanent adjustments that will help in preventing another outbreak or at least improve the community’s preparation for one.   

Due to COVID-19, buildings will give more emphasis to the health and wellness of their tenants. While other offices will only start implementing such changes to adapt, commercial establishments that were already certified by programs such as LEED have long been uplifting the quality of the work environment and promoting the health and well-being of their tenants—amid a pandemic or not. 

Here are some ways LEED certification can help prevent diseases in the future:  

LEED-certified buildings, like JEG Tower, were designed, constructed, and operates to high standards that prioritize the health of its tenants. Green buildings regulate water quality, air quality, and antibacterial functions to promote their occupants’ health and reduce the risks of getting diseases and viruses.   

RELATED: How Green Buildings improve indoor air quality, provide healthier working environment  

The LEED certification also ensures these buildings have increased ventilation which also improves the health and wellbeing of the tenants and drastically improves their work performance.  

In addition to providing the basic functions, LEED-certified buildings also reduce the risk of infection and prevent cross-infection inside the workplace. The US Green Building Council (USGBC) requires establishments to include measures that will control the collusion of air and pollutants, exhaust backflow of bathrooms, Green buildings are designed to set up effective water seals to reduce the risk of virus transmission through drainage pipes. Under the LEED certification, buildings should optimize the space and plane layout to enhance the effectiveness of natural ventilation. They should also be able to regulate and control air conditioning systems by zones and have a well-designed site wind environment for the dissipation of viruses and harmful gases. 

Moreover, LEED ensures that the cleanliness of the environment is greatly prioritized. Strengthened cleaning policies are followed using sustainable and safe cleaning products. Proper waste management is also observed, which plays a big role in disease prevention.  

Following the ‘People’ aspect of the triple bottom line of LEED, (People, Planet, Profit), certified buildings ensure that they are safe and healthy environment for their occupants.  

The vaccine against the new coronavirus is yet to be developed, which means the best protection one can have against it depends on the body’s immunity and the community’s cleanliness. 

RELATED: Promoting Health and Well-being in the Workplace  

Promoting physical activity among building tenants while creating a safe and welcoming environment is the top priority of LEED-certified green buildings. These goals help in ensuring that building occupants are healthy year-round, not just during a global pandemic.  

The current COVID-19 outbreak is reemphasizing the importance of prioritizing one’s health and proper hygiene. It also reminds how easily diseases can spread in the workplace. Office buildings can either help in its prevention or aid its spread and proliferation. Building certification programs such as LEED recognize the importance of certain aspects of building design and maintenance that play an important role in disease spread and prevention of outbreaks in the future.