On the Philippine Star: The ‘Eco-logic™’ design for sustainable living

“At ITPI we don’t design the form, we design the process that makes the form

Whether it’s a fad, a popular demand, or a responsibility, green design is the future in real-estate

As the Philippines continues to embrace environment-friendly practices in many aspects of life, the industry has also made sustainability a significant factor in today’s architectural design

Coral City in Sto Tomas Batangas

Another eco-logic design and development project, soon to rise in Sto

Tomas, Batangas

Top architects in the country and elsewhere have revolutionized architectural works by incorporating eco-friendly elements and models, designing modern buildings that would be in harmony with the environment

On the other hand, Italian architect and ITALPINAS Euroasian Design and Eco-development Corp

(ITPI) executive chairman and CEO Romolo V

Nati believes that “green” design is more than just providing high-technology and highly expensive materials in a building, given the fact that the real-estate industry also makes up a considerable percentage of the world’s carbon footprint

For him, a more intelligent design process – or the “eco-logic design” as ITPI calls it – allows buildings to maintain a more sustainable condition in the long run without incurring additional construction costs

For their projects in key cities across the country, ITPI took a holistic approach to come up with designs that will serve as a practical solution to help increase efficienc and quality while reducing long-term maintenance costs of the buildings

Summa Cum Laude graduaate in Architecture at the University of Rome – La Sapienza, Nati says, “What we do, in comparison to our competitors, is to invest more in the design process (using parametric design software) to increase the building’s performance and enhance construction cost, which will maintain affordability of the units and therefore enabling us to deliver sustainable, beautiful, elegant, and minimalist units that are reasonably priced

With only four years in the real-estate industry in the Philippines, ITPI has laready demonstrated its commitment to provide uniquely and intelligently designed buildings, taking inspiration from nature

This has made them worthy of being globally recognized, reaping awards from prestigious organizations

Their first project in Cagayan de Oro, the Primavera Residences, for example, was among the “Most Promising Clean Energy Investment Opportunities in the Philippines” during the 2010 Climate Technology Initiative Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI PFAN) Clean Energy Investor Forum in Manila, whose funding partners include USAID and ADB

Primavera Residences was so highly recommended as “One of the Best Condo Developments in the Philippines” from the Southeast Asia Property Awards (SEAPA), which was held in Singapore in 2011

Other ITPI projects also bagged awards, such as the “Special Energy Award” in 2011 Design Against the Elements (DAtE) global architectural design competition held in Manila

Sponsored by National Geographic, DAtE received over 300 entries from all over the world, and awarded only three, including ITPI’s project “Coral City

” Another upcoming ITPI project was also cited by CTI PFAN during their 2013 Clean Energy Investor Forum in Singapore as the only finalist from the Philippines competing against other 38 eco-friendly projects from across Asia

As a company that is engaged in real-estate investment development, architectural and design eco services, ITPI’s values and philosophy as a company is to deliver simple solutions that are well-conceptualized and cost-effective

Nati says, “We in the company all share the advocacy of sustainable development

We strongly believe that human technique is inseparable from nature and nature is our inspiration

ITPI started its projects in secondary cities in the country

With its existing project in Cagayan de Oro City, to be joined soon by more projects in the pipeline, like another one in CDO, in Santo Tomas, Batangas, in tourist destinations, and even in Metro Manila, ITPI aims to become one of the leaders in sustainable real estate development


Jojo Leviste, President of ITPI, who also shares the same perspective says, “We are breaking the stereotype that elegant, beautiful, and eco-friendly design is costly

” He continues, “If the solutions are simple but well-thought through, it doesn’t have to be expensive

You have to remember that what matters is not how the end product looks, it’s how you came up with it

Nature doesn’t design thinking about elegance and beauty, it creates a well-performing structure that also happens to be beautiful

Nati summarizes this concept by saying, “In ITPI we don’t design the form; we design the process that makes the form

The Primavera Residences, ITPI’s first condominium in CDO, is one example of their highly sustainable and efficient building design

This two-tower mixed-use property has environment-friendly features including an inner courtyard, as well as a cross-ventilation layout among the units in order to enhance natural airflow and light

Shaded facades also minimize solar illumination on the windows and moderate the temperature inside each unit

Residents may reduce their use of air conditioning to as much as 32 percent

Moreover, the building is designed to have a photovoltaic solar panels to produce renewable energy for the common areas, and thus reduce the condominium costs for unit owners

Nati says, “We design our buildings to target energy balance

On one hand, we reduce energy consumption

On the other, we apply renewable energy features to produce energy for the building itself

In the future, every building should be able to produce the total amount of energy it requires

Leviste, who is also the president of ITPI sister company, Constellation Energy Corporation, which specializes in renewable energy, points out that among other considerations they take in designing their buildings is the disaster risk reduction approach

Amid the unprecedented natural calamities that have recently struck many parts of the country, ITPI deems it an essential facet of their design and engineering process to incorporate elements that will enhance the resilience of the structures

He says, “It’s almost negligent if the thinking in design locally doesn’t take this into account

Now, you have to design around it in order to acknowledge what is inevitable

As the need for more environmental solutions becomes more serious over time, ITPI is a pioneer in its efforts of rebuilding a greener landscape to help save the earth’s natural resources

Nati says, “Te reasons for the current environmental degradation is that man relies too much on technology without considering its possible abusive effects, resulting in collateral damage

Humanity assumes that it has total control over nature due to the misconception that the world’s natural resources are infinite and easily available at any given time

For us in the real-estate business, at least we can reduce energy and natural resources consumption among the other practical ways to minimize environmental impact

Helping ITPI in building their environmental solutions are their partner banks: Landbank if the Philippines, whose term loan partially funded Tower A of Primavera Residences; and the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), which partially funded Tower B through their sustainable energy financing (SEF)

BPI provided technical assistance in the proposed solar photovoltaic installation in both towers

BPI’s SEF is a pioneering program that offers both financing and technical advisory

Other important partners include: Investment Capital Corporation of the Philippines, Board of Investments, Philippine Green Building Council, Habitat for Humanity Philippines, and Compassion and Responsibility for Animals


– Camille Bersola

Featured on The Philippine STAR, 30 September 2013