Green Building Code: Culling the Practical

Primavera Residences_edited

With climate change affecting even the personal lives of people – God knows how many individuals have lost sleep this summer because of the intense heat, and have become cranky raccoons afterwards – it is definitely an appreciated move should the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) push through with the plan for a Green Building Code by 2015.

According to reports, the code will supposedly require new buildings to have eco-friendly features such as energy efficiency and water and waste management. Definitely, this will mean no more shoebox buildings consuming a lot of electricity (for both cooling and lighting). Hello al fresco dining and tree-lined mall walks.

Naturally, real estate developments will have to follow suit. In the near future, green buildings will become the norm and developers will have to come up with designs that adapt to the environment. In Cagayan de Oro, there is already a developer that has trumped the others – Italpinas. With its current designs already using nature’s building structures and reducing the impact on the environment, it has already pioneered green building in Mindanao.

Admittedly, what it has now with its first project called Primavera Residences, is a far cry from what you would imagine of an Italian-inspired building.

Primavera Residences is a no-nonsense building. Still elegantly designed, it follows more the dictates of nature than the whims of humans. Instead of balustrade-circled verandas, what the building has are cantilevers seemingly protruding from a main body. But unlike the fancy veranda which can be romantic but quite non-functional at certain times of the day (when the sun is beating mighty hot at 12 noon for example), these efficient ledges help create shadows and shield the rooms from direct sunlight. This passive cooling technique results in minimized use of air-conditioners, making the building energy-efficient.

Definitely in the future, fancy building traditions would be snubbed by a more pragmatic populace. Real estate investing in Cagayan de Oro, in particular will be worth more when a building is designed to be environment-friendly. Otherwise, how can we maintain the illusions of sipping tea in a pretty garden when the sun is burning our heads bare?