Property developers going “green”, Italpinas project gets IFC’s green building certification

By Doris Dumlao Abadilla | Philippine Daily Inquirer

MORE property developers are seen embracing environmental sustainability features, with about 20 percent of all new construction in the Philippines likely to be certified as “green” developments in the next five years.

This is what the World Bank’s private sector arm International Financial Corp. (IFC) hopes to see with the introduction to the local market of EDGE – which stands for “excellence in design for greater efficiencies” – a simpler and more affordable accreditation system for developers to reduce energy and water consumption in their buildings while lowering greenhouse-gas emissions.

IFC global green building specialist Prashant Kapoor, the inventor of the EDGE system, talked about this new platform during Monday’s issuance of the EDGE accreditation to the twin-tower Primavera Residences project in Cagayan de Oro, the flagship project of boutique property developer Italpinas Development Corp. (IDC). This project is one of the first in the Philippines to obtain the EDGE certification.

Designed by architects Romolo Valentino Nati and Francesco De Luca, the towers feature a set of cantilevers that create a shadow from within, preventing direct sunlight from penetrating windows to keep indoor temperatures down. A green inner courtyard promotes natural ventilation by forcing warm air out of the building through the roof, which is lined with solar panels to power common areas.

The buildings will be maintained in an eco-friendly manner, promoting waste segregation, non-chemical products for cleaning, and bicycles, in addition to resource efficiency. Initiatives will be organized to increase interest among unit owners about the benefits of sustainable living.

With all its “green” features, IDC’s Primavera Residences project is seen to generate 33 percent in energy savings, 37 percent in water savings and 32 percent reduction in embodied energy in materials.

The first tower of Primavera, with 160 units, was completed in 2012 and the 166-unit second tower was completed in 2015.

“We are at the cusp of transformation or edge,” Kapoor said, noting that by offering a simpler and more affordable platform to encourage green design in construction projects, more governments and more private entities would adhere to sustainability features.

“Our vision in next five years is we want to see Philippines have 20 percent of all new construction to be green. That’s the challenge,” Kapoor said.

Kapoor said nowhere else did it make sense for construction projects to go green than in the Philippines, where the cost of energy was so high while economic growth rate was high as well.

“We found a rating system that matches our vision and it’s also a good way that developers can access EDGE. It’s not expensive. It’s user-friendly,” said Nati, who is also IDC’s chair and chief operating officer.

Jose Leviste III, president and chief executive officer of IDC, said having the EDGE accreditation also empowers investors and buyers “to ask the right question and demand the right diligence” from property developers in this day and age when it’s fashionable to claim to be a “green” developer.

“This does resonate for us as developer because what we want to do is to introduce design thinking at this particular market strata,” Leviste said, noting that unless consciousness on green building cascades to the bottom of the economic pyramid, there’s risk that the “green” movement could be perceived as an “elitist” thing.

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How to Enjoy Summer in Cagayan de Oro

Who doesn’t love summer? I guess everyone does. Even Olaf from Frozen loves summer! While we’re now in the middle of our favorite part of the year, surely you must have planned your summer vacations and outings with families and friends. When in Cagayan de Oro, there’s more to spending summer differently than simply going to beaches and summer parties.

So, here are my top 3 recommendations on how to enjoy summer in CDO.

Forest Park Escapade

Photo taken from


Of course, summer is never complete without hitting the beach or the pool. For a change, try going off to the forest. Yes, to the forest, and no, not the kind of forest you are thinking. There’s a famous forest park up the mountains called Dahilayan Forest Park where you and your friends can definitely have loads of fun with activities that would dare you to conquer your fears. Dahilayan Forest Park boasts of Asia’s longest dual zipline so you can experience how it is to fly like Superman. When you can’t get enough of Zipzone, try something more daring like doing a freefall with their Dropzone adventure.

White Water Rafting Adventure

I didn’t miss to experience the rapids with my friends! (original photo)


You would never want to miss the white water rafting adventure in summer when in CDO. If you love the great outdoors, this one’s a perfect summer adventure alongside your forest park escapade. You get to brave the river rapids of Cagayan River aboard a raft good for 6 to 10 persons. Your river guide can challenge you with little surprises (like capsizing your raft!) on your journey so better be ready.

Summer Coolers Only in CDO

Milk teas, coolers and ice cream! These coolers simply complete summer break! Here in CDO, here is the list of summer coolers I highly recommend:

  • La Favorita Homemade Freshmilk Ice Cream
Photo credits: Judee Dizon-Chaves
Photo credits: Judee Dizon-Chaves

A popular local ice cream brand called La Favorita that is so irresistibly delicious. Their avocado flavor is the bestseller. A little pricey, but it’s worth the price!

  • Chinkee Tea
Photo credits: Judee Dizon-Chaves
Photo credits: Judee Dizon-Chaves

If you want more of tasty summer coolers in CDO, Chinkee Tea is the place to be. Brimming with a variety of milk tea flavors, you can already spend a cozy summer afternoon chat with your friends at this lovely tea house. My favorite choice is always the wintermelon milk tea, with tapioca pearls and ice cream as add-ons.

  • Cool Down Beverages
Thai Me Up’s Love Potion coolers  Photo credits: Judee Chaves-Dizon
Thai Me Up’s Love Potion coolers
Photo credits: Judee Chaves-Dizon

bourbon coolers

Two summer quenchers you wouldn’t want to miss trying: Thai Me Up’s coolers and Bourbon Bistro’s coolers! You can take them with you in your summer activities. They’re real thirst quenchers!

Enjoy the sun and the tan lines and the warm breeze! Enjoy your summer while it lasts!


Do you need a place to stay for your Cagayan de Oro vacation? Check out the units for rent at Primavera Residences! You can choose between sunrise or sunset view from your very own picture-perfect balcony and window for a thoroughly relaxing vacation. For more information, go to