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:  

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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. 

Ways to reduce waste in the workplace 

Waste reduction is one of the most important facets of conserving resources and adapting green initiatives in the workplace. Over the years, companies have become more aware of the impacts of businesses on the environment and have pledged their support and cooperation in helping combat the worsening condition of climate change. From choosing to locate in green buildings to incorporating a biophilic workplace design, committing to help in saving the environment can be simple yet valuable. 

Here are some ways you can reduce office waste: 

Smart use of paper  

For some, paper is still a necessity in day to day business. With the continuous advancement of technology, businesses can implement strategies that promote a smarter usage of paper and printing: 

  • Print in draft mode to use less ink
  • Use both sides of paper 
  • Shred scratch papers and use it as fillers in packages 
  • Buy refilled cartridges of toner and ink to reduce metal and plastic waste in landfills 
  • Provide paper recycling bins near workstations 
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Other companies, and even local government units in the Philippines, are even turning into paperless institutions. This eco-friendly digitalization is an initiative to significantly reduce paper consumption for transactions and a commitment to promote the conservation of natural resources to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. 

Provide reusable utensils and water bottles 

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Providing your employees with reusable water bottles and utensils does not only look good for your branding, but it will also be a great initiative to promote waste reduction in the workplace. Tons of plastic can be cut off from disposable spoons, forks, and plastic water bottles. 

Offer better transportation options 

Your employees’ commute to the office is also a great area for you to promote waste reduction. Encourage employees to walk or bike to work by offering shower rooms and changing areas. For employees who live farther, organize a carpool program and get them connected. 

Recycle e-waste 

Old and irreparable mobile phones, computers, printers, and other equipment can often be recycled. Look for recycling programs and companies who buy these scrap materials in your area that accept these kinds of materials. Your company can also hold a collection drive for the employees’ personal damaged devices they would want to donate. 

Locate in a green building 

Offices that are based in a green building impact the environment more positively than those who are in regular office buildings. Sustainable structures, LEED buildings to be more specific, follow and observe certain standards that are beneficial to the environment. These green structures use less water, energy and emit fewer greenhouse gases without compromising the usual operational needs of businesses. 

The company’s role in adapting green practices within the office and instilling the green mindset to their employees is very crucial. These small efforts and policies may be simple, but they can make a large difference if done collectively. 

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JEG Development Corporation, the name behind JEG Tower @ One Acacia, is one of the few frontrunners of the green revolution in Cebu. Being a family-run business for generations, the company has committed to promoting eco-friendlier options and solutions in their line of businesses. JEG Tower @ One Acacia is Cebu City’s newest premium green buildings. Expected to open in 2020, it looks forward to revolutionizing work and life balance by providing a working environment that uplifts its tenants’ health and wellness and promoting sustainable real estate in the province. 

Interested in leasing a commercial space in a premium green building? Contact Michael Glindro at (+63) 917-584-0443. For more information, send us an email at info@kmcmaggroup.com or reach out to us through (+632) 8403-5519. 

Defining Sustainability: Casas+Architects discusses why it matters in design and construction

As the call for more initiatives to combat climate change has become more urgent, sustainable and ‘green’ real estate is seen to be one of the most effective efforts from the building and construction sector to take part in.  

Casas+Architects is one of the country’s pioneers in designing better buildings. Committed to integrating the architectural design with their natural environment, the firm utilizes the company values of imagination, creativity, and skill from the creation of concept down to the most minute construction of sustainable structures in the Philippines. 

Designing Better Buildings 

“Beyond our commitment to distinction, our goal is to work for a positive impact on individual lives, the environment, and communities through sustainable design,” Architect Meloy Casas, founder and president of Casas+Architects said. “The goal of every sustainable building is to reduce the carbon footprint during its construction and lessen its negative impacts to the environment throughout its lifecycle,” he added. 

Being one of the multi-awarded architectural firms in the country, their thrust towards promoting sustainability with their projects is what defines their work and differentiates them from the rest. Since 2008, they helped in forming the Manila skyline, completing notable structures such as the Grand Hyatt/Metrobank Center, Pacific Plaza, Icon Residences, and Maybank Performing Arts Center, among others. 

Cebu’s Frontrunners of Sustainable Real Estate 

Today, they are expanding their operations to the Visayas with the design of one of its newest premium ‘green’ buildings, JEG Tower @ One Acacia. Architect Meloy has translated JEG Development Corporation (JDC)’s vision of making Cebu City more livable. 

“After a serious bidding process with other well-known architectural firms, the board selected Casas, not only because of his expertise but also because it was felt that he best knew how to turn JDC’s long-term dreams into a reality,” Stefan Garcia, the company’s Estate and Business Development Manager said. 

Driven to push forward this initiative to become the new standard, JDC 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. It is also one of the first buildings in the Cebu business park to be LEED pre-certified. 

“Architect Meloy was very active in the initial design stages of the building and has continued to be very present throughout the whole process,” Garcia added.

“The building design is the most important factor in achieving points for LEED certification,” Michael Glindro, Senior Manager for Landlord Representation of KMC said. “It is critical to have all stakeholders and design team members to plan and coordinate the design properly to build a truly green and sustainable building,” he added. 

KMC handles all the sale and leasing transactions for JEG Tower @ One Acacia, which is set to be completed early next year. 

Why Go ‘Green’? 

‘Green’ buildings are more costly to build and operate, however, this is Casas+Architects and JDC’s investment to a better future for the environment.  

“We’re doing this not with the cost in mind,” Marko Sarmiento, JDC’s COO stated. “The ‘green’ movement in the real estate industry has so much potential, and I think the Cebuanos can benefit from it,” he said. 

From the design perspective, Architect Casas said that going ‘green’ benefits both landlords and tenants in the long run. 

“’Green’ operations and management can reduce operating costs, enhance building marketability, increase workers’ productivity and reduce potential liability resulting from indoor air quality problems,” he enumerated. “On the other hand, the indoor environmental quality of ‘green’ buildings can have a significant effect on the health and well-being of its occupiers.” 

“If we are building something, we are doing it the best way possible,” Ayla Gomez, JDC’s brand manager added. 

“Early on in the design phase, he encouraged us to dream big and not to think too much of the financial impact,” Sarmiento shared. “Some of the early designs were contrasting with what we eventually decided on, which made the process fun and engaging.” 

The Identifiers of Success 

Designing and building a ‘green’ building in the Philippines, especially in Cebu, comes with a challenge, however, Architect Casas saw this as an opportunity to excel even more.  

“The building orientation and location was a great challenge since its located on a prominent corner lot and bounded by two busy streets,” he said, citing one of the many technical difficulties in bringing his design to life.  

“The design would make the most of the unusual shape of the corner lot on Archbishop Reyes which is sure to become an icon of the Cebu skyline,” Garcia said. 

Architect Meloy Casas made a name for himself in the industry as a man with boundless passion and dedication for his craft. His eye for architecture and his ability to see beyond the essence of his design is what makes him one of the most trusted names in the industry. 

“JDC always desires to work with people at the forefront of the industry, matching the visionary ideals we hold to make Cebu a better place in which to live,” Garcia stated. “With Casas+Architects’ high-skilled workforce and use of technology, married well with our vision, and it hard for us to imagine what it would be like with a less expert firm.” 

“Considering the stature and reputation as one of the country’s leading Architects, working with Architect Casas has been as much a learning experience as it has been a great pleasure,” Sarmiento said. “Despite his many projects, he took the time to personally guide us through the process of selecting the design that was right for us,” he added. 

JEG Tower @ One Acacia: Bring Work To Life this 2020

Work-life balance never looked this green! 

JEG Tower @ One Acacia is right on schedule. The building nears its top off in the 3rd quarter of 2019 and ready for turnover 1st quarter of 2020. Located at Arch. Reyes Ave. cor. Acacia Street, Cebu City, JEG Tower is set to be an icon among office buildings in the city with its environment-friendly features and sophisticated design. It is very near Ayala Center Cebu, Cebu’s biggest mall complex, as well as some of Cebu’s top hotels and residential condominiums, keeping up to its tagline “Bringing Work to Life.”  

JDC, the tower’s developer, partnered with Casas Architects, one of Philippines top architectural firms. Together, they aim to bring out its vision of sustainable buildings and keep up with the global trend on green real estate. JEG Tower @ One Acacia is a Grade A building and a definite future-proof structure in terms of design.  

JEG Tower @ One Acacia also aligns with the developer’s advocacy towards the environment by achieving LEED (pre-certified Silver), one of Cebu’s first buildings to achieve such distinction. 

The building also has several features to help achieve work-life balance for its tenants. Some of the amenities the building provides is a green rooftop terrace, chapel, shower rooms, and bike racks to promote wellness among its occupiers. The building is designed with the health and well-being of its occupants in mind. The building can also accommodate headquarters, shared service, and BPO office needs. 

Currently, the 22-storey building is in its pre-leasing stage for some of its office floors. Available spaces follow typical floor plate of 1,100 square meters which can be subdivided into 9 bare shell units with AC. 

JEG Tower @ One Acacia is definitely the office building of choice for all business sectors. Its occupants will surely benefit from the building’s amenities and the environment will also benefit from its sustainable design. 

For any leasing inquiries or viewing request, you may contact KMC on +632 403 5519 or email us at jegtower@kmcmaggroup.com.  

Defining Innovation in Real Estate

“The people of Cebu deserve so much more.”

This is the message that JEG Development Corp. (JDC)’s Chief Operating Officer, Marko Sarmiento wants to communicate when he and his family conceptualized JEG Tower @ One Acacia, Cebu’s first green building to join the growing number of Metro Cebu’s skyline.

“We have always wanted to do things differently. We want to pursue projects that are not only innovative but relevant as well. Our latest project, the JEG Tower, is a testament to that,” Marko told in an interview with Sustar.

Leading towards a Greener Cebu

JEG Tower @ One Acacia, the city’s first green building, is the Garcia-Sarmiento clan’s pledge to a better Cebu. Driven to push forward this initiative to become the new standard, JDC specifically designed this 22-floor tower towards sustainability which made use of environment-friendly materials and would operationalize as energy efficient as possible.

“We’re building a high-end, LEED pre-certified Silver, sustainable office retail building which we’re taking as both a huge risk and opportunity to do something different than anyone else in the game,” Marko said.

The 1,700-square meter tower, which will fully operate by 2020, is the corporation’s first step leading towards a greener Cebu. While the green movement is in full motion in Metro Manila, it remains to be tapped in Metro Cebu.

“Green developments aren’t a standard yet in Cebu, but we want to take the initiative starting with this building,” Marko told the Freeman. “The green movement in the Real estate industry has so much potential, and I think the Cebuanos can benefit from it,” he said.

“I think we came in the right time,” Ayla Gomez, JDC’s Brand Manager adds. “The trend now is towards building offices and residences is geared towards sustainability.”

JDC’s long-standing presence in Cebu molded the family corporation’s vision to give back to the Cebuanos through their business.

“Constructing a green building is much more expensive compared to normal ones,” Marko admits, “but we’re doing this not with the cost in mind.”

“If they are building something, we are doing it the best way possible,” Ayla added.

Work-Life Balance Revolutionized

Hosting additional Grade A office spaces along Archbishop Reyes near the Cebu Business Park, JEG Tower is fit to house BPO companies and corporate offices in the South. The sustainable design of the building does not only benefit the environment but also takes care of the overall well-being of its occupiers.

Contributing not only to the productivity, but also the health and wellness of its tenants, JEG Tower @ One Acacia provides a lot of green spaces, bike racks, and shower rooms for them to use to their advantage. Its key location also prompts occupants of the building to have their dose of exercise needed by walking to work or to take some time off work and visit neighboring leisure establishments. The design also enhances interior space for maximum views and natural lighting to reduce energy costs.

“We’re going to locate our head office at JEG Tower too,” Marko shares, “We will also experience what our tenants will experience.”

By providing a working environment that improves the productivity and well-being of people, JDC continues to transform itself into a relevant and socially responsible real estate firm.

“It isn’t always about the bottom line but more about the greater good,” added Marko. “We just hope more developers do it. It would benefit the whole industry.”