14 ways to go green this Valentine’s day

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If Facebook forced me to define my relationship with Valentine’s Day, I’d have to select “it’s complicated.” On one hand, it’s a good excuse to go on a sugar-high-fueled glittery-pink-heart-shaped spree of sharing the love.

On the other hand, Valentine’s Day has become a horribly shopping-driven holiday that encourages us to commodify our relationships and evaluate how much we’re loved by how much someone spends on us. Not to mention that it creates a lot of trash from wasteful packaging and cards that may not even make it to the recycling bin.

So, to reconcile these two impulses, I’m offering this list of ways to share the love with everyone you adore without hating on the environment.

1. Make an edible Valentine

© Margaret Badore

Vegan treats will sweeten the day without the waste–since they’ll definitely be devoured. Consider homemade Sweetheart sugar cookies or chocolate cupcakes with strawberry filling.

2. Avoid e-waste cards

That singing card might be charming, but e-waste is less cute.

3. Buy fair-trade and rainforest friendly chocolate

If you’re single or not, this day will involved some sort of chocolate for many people, but cocoa farming is associated with some serious ethical and environmental problems. That’s why it’s important to stick with fair trade chocolate.

4. Craft a recycled Valentine

An old-fashioned homemade Valentine can be way more meaningful than something you find in a store. Consider turning scrap paper, pressed flowers, or fabric scraps into cool, handmade cards and tokens of affection, like these cute cardboard hearts from the Five and One blog.

5. Shop your closet

That scarf you’ve never worn? That book you’re not going to re-read? Consider re-gifting. Or check out Gifteng, a site that helps you give and receive in your area.

6. Think local

If you’re going to do some gift shopping or eating out, consider supporting a local business instead of a big chain. You can also look for locally made products. For example, I recently discovered Bixby chocolate, made here in New York state with ethical cocoa.

7. Look for organic flowers

Rosa y Dani/CC BY 2.0

If flowers are a must, look for organically grown options because cut flowers can be particularly drenched in toxic pesticides. If you’re not sure about your local florist, you can also order online from Organic Bouquet.

8. Consider a potted plant

Even better than cut flowers, why not give a plant that will last longer than a week? Here are recommendations for houseplants that don’t need much water.

9. Choose sustainable wine

When it comes to picking a wine, look for the organic label or the Rainforest Alliance seal. Learn more about eco-friendly wines here.

10. Select ethical jewelry

© The Nozomi ProjectI love jewelry that comes with a beautiful story. If jewelry is the only way to delight your beloved, consider browsing Helpsy’s selection or supporting the Nozomi Project.

11. Send the perfect .GIF

It definitely won’t end up in the waste bin.

12. Be a green lover

You may want to opt for vegan protection, to keep things smooth with organic ingredients, to get good vibes without phthalates or have fun with plastic-free play.

13. Cuddle

Not only does it feel good, it’s good for your health.

14. Do something extra nice.

Maybe it’s making dinner for your mom or maybe it’s taking out the compost for your roommate. Maybe it’s just calling that friend you haven’t heard from in a long time. I’m sure you can think of something nice to do for the people you care about, and that’s what this day should really be all about.

Primavera Offers Buyers a Romantic Getaway to Japan

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Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental (February 12, 2016)— Do you want to invest in a multi-awarded condominium development at its most reasonable offer? Italpinas Development Corporation’s flagship development, Primavera Residences, offers buyers a romantic getaway for two in Japan plus pocket money!

Japan is a magical honeymoon destination. Where else could you experience ancient traditions, impeccable hospitality, world-class cuisine, and exceptional accommodation—ranging from exquisite ryokan with private hot spring bath to super-deluxe hotels at the top of the towering city skyscrapers? Not to mention the romantic scenery from picturesque rural villages to wondrous gardens of cherry blossoms.

Whether your ideal Valentine’s Day includes a relaxing spa at an exclusive mountain retreat, taking a sunset stroll under the delicate pink sakura, or just chill with Japan’s highly regarded cuisines such as Kyoto’s tofu and Osaka’s okonomiyaki and tako-yaki, IDC’s Primavera has prepared an excellent package for you and your loved one to experience all these in Japan!

“At Primavera, we do not just offer our buyers reasonable deals, we also offer them quality, eco-friendly, and elegant home to live and invest. This month of February, as Primavera offers the best view of the sunrise in the city, we make sure to give them the romantic getaway for their loved ones in the Land of the Rising Sun,” said Gladys Echano, Sales Director of IDC.

Developed by an internationally-awarded sustainable developer, Italpinas Development Corporation (IDC), Primavera Residences is the first eco-friendly condo property in Northern Mindanao. It has two 10-storey towers with commercial and residential units that are ready for occupancy.

Aside from being recognized as the Best Mixed-Use Development in the Philippines by the International Property Awards at the 2014-2015 Asia Pacific Property Summit in Kuala Lumpur, the green building is now certified to be the FIRST COMPLETED CONDOMINIUM PROJECT IN EAST ASIA by IFC World Bank’s Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) certification system.

What are you waiting for? Call us now at (088) 880-5002 or 0917 794 2221 or visit our office at 2F Primavera Residences, Pueblo de Oro Business Park, Upper Carmen, CdO and know more about this excellent romantic getaway with your loved one!

How to go green when you travel

Traveling green takes a little extra effort at first, but it soon becomes second nature and those extra steps can enhance every trip you take. Not only will you feel better about your travels, but you’ll also leave a more positive impression on the place you visited and often have more meaningful experiences along the way.

We believe responsible travel is a force for good: it can open hearts and minds, give us a broader understanding of the world, and inspire us to make a difference; but when you consider the environmental impact of commercial aviation, the sometimes negative effects of tourism on other cultures, and the trail of strained resources travelers can leave behind, tourism doesn’t look so pretty.

Here are our tips for going green with ease and making travel better for everyone.

At the planning stage

Flamingoes flying across a salt lake in Chile, one of this year's 10 best 'ethical destinations', according to Ethical Traveler. Image by Ricardo Martínez Photography / Moment / Getty ImagesFlamingoes flying across a salt lake in Chile, one of this year’s 10 best ‘ethical destinations’, according to Ethical Traveler. Image by Ricardo Martínez Photography / Moment / Getty Images

Choose an ethical travel destination

Independent nonprofit organization Ethical Traveler ranks destinations each year by their environmental protection standards, social welfare and human rights record (ethicaltraveler.org/explore/reports/the-worlds-best-ethical-destinations-2014). It’s a good idea to check the “Addendum: Destinations of Interest” section as well to broaden your choices and see what countries made the top 10 in previous years (ethicaltraveler.org/explore/reports/the-worlds-best-ethical-destinations-2013).

By visiting countries on these lists, your tourism dollar supports their efforts to create sustainable tourism industries, and encourages other destinations to follow suit.

Choose a green hotel

Look for certified green hotels that are in LEED Certified buildings (usgbc.org/leed), use renewable energy, recycle, use environmentally friendly cleaning products and offer options for guests to make an impact (such as not having the sheets changed daily).

There are several certification programs – the better-known ones include Green Key Global, Green Globe International, Green Seal and EcoRooms & EcoSuites. Staying in smaller, locally run hotels and B&Bs is often the greenest method around, making your stay environmentally and socially responsible as well as being a more direct boost to the local economy.

Choose a green tour company

Again, going with an independent local guide can often be the best way to ensure your money is doing the most for your destination’s economy.

When looking for a tour company look for the following:

  • The company proudly promotes their ethical practices.
  • They use green office products.
  • You can tangibly see how they contribute to the community.
  • They respect the local flora and fauna.
  • They take destination-specific social and political issues into account.

While you’re on the road

Taking public transport such as a train is not only a sound ethical choice; it's also a good way to embrace and experience another culture. Image by Bart Dubelaar / Moment / Getty Images

Taking public transport such as a train is not only a sound ethical choice; it’s also a good way to embrace and experience another culture. Image by Bart Dubelaar / Moment / Getty Images

Use public transport, bike or walk

Using public transport or travelling under your own steam can cut your environmental impact, and also allow you to meet locals and experience a culture in a slower, more detailed way. Instead of renting a car, hop on a local bus; take a walking tour or view the countryside by bike. For long distances consider trains, which allow you to see the country out the windows while meeting locals at your seat, the cafeteria or lounge areas.

Don’t use plastic bottles

A small water filter such as a battery-powered Steripen (steripen.com) easily fits in a daypack or purse and can make tap water safe to drink. You can treat water by the liter if you carry a wide-mouth bottle, or you can dunk the device directly into your glass at restaurants, etc, to zap ice cubes and fruit juices. This allows you not only to reduce your plastic bottle consumption but also to feel safe drinking a wider variety of local beverages – including ice cold drinks on hot days.

Eat locally sourced food

Support the region’s farmers, get a more authentic taste of the cuisine and cut your carbon footprint even more. Look out for restaurants advertising local produce or, if that’s not possible, eat local dishes at mom-and-pop-style places that will most likely use what’s produced nearby. Whatever you do, don’t eat endangered species like turtle or over-harvested shellfish.

Know when, and when not to volunteer

We all want to help, but take the example of Cambodia, where so many travelers wanted to volunteer at orphanages that fake ones were opened to make a healthy profit. For more detailed information on this issue, check out our article: Voluntourism tips: is it ethical to visit orphanages?

In general, places that involve animal welfare or the environment are the most likely volunteer opportunities to be legitimate. Of course there are all sorts of organizations doing incredible humanitarian work; just be sure to do your homework before donating your time and money.

Do your homework on any tour involving people or animals

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a close encounter with an indigenous tribe or exotic animals but stop for a minute, think logically and ask questions before you support a business that may be doing more harm than good. Just because an experience is offered, promoted and everyone else is doing it does not mean it’s the ethical choice.

Leave a light footprint

Take simple steps such as not getting your sheets changed daily at your hotel, taking short showers, keeping air-con use to a minimum and turning off lights when you don’t need them. Research your destination by internet or ask around to find out if there are water shortages, how energy is produced, and if there are any resource issues to be aware of. And use your eyes. Seeing the giant, noisy, gas-guzzling generator that produces the electricity on that desert island will make you think about it every time you flick a switch.

Don’t dump your stuff

Many developing countries don’t have the means to dispose of bulky, man-made items like old electronics, polyester clothing or used batteries. If you leave them, they could remain in a landfill or worse for literally hundreds of years after you’re gone. Pack your trash and take it home. The exception is clothing and items that may be of use to local people – these should be donated to local charities or religious organizations so they can reach those most in need.

When you come back home

Carbon offset programs can help fund reforestation. Image by homas Jackson / Stone / Getty Images

Carbon offset programs can help fund reforestation. Image by homas Jackson / Stone / Getty Images

Carbon offset

Calculate your carbon offset via this handy calculator at Sustainable Travel (sustainabletravel.org/utilities/carbon-calculator). While it’s better to concentrate on shrinking your footprint in the first place, a contribution to carbon offset programs will help by funding reforestation and renewable energy projects.

Donate

Now that you’ve experienced a place, met its people and seen what is needed the most, why not make a donation to one of the region’s grass-roots organizations? Perhaps you found this on the road or researched it as an afterthought, but there’s always a way to give more back.

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/ecotourism/best-of-ecotourism/content/travel-tips-and-articles/how-to-go-green-when-you-travel#ixzz40O0SXHOI

Moody’s upbeat on PHL credit score

THE ECONOMY’S strong showing in the past quarter bodes well for the Philippines’ creditworthiness, Moody’s Investors Service said, as that performance stands as a testament to the country’s resilience amid external headwinds.

In its credit outlook released on Monday, the debt watcher said the faster-than-expected growth of 6.3% seen during the last three months of 2015 showed the economy’s relative strength despite the global volatility.

“The strong growth is credit positive because it demonstrates the economy’s resistance to global shocks and points to the government’s ability and willingness to shore up domestic demand amid a weak external environment,” Moody’s said in the report.

Moody’s currently rates Philippine sovereign debt a “Baa2”, a notch above minimum investment grade, with a “stable” outlook.

The fourth quarter growth in gross domestic product (GDP) is the fastest pace tallied for the year — up from the upwardly revised 6.1% in the third quarter — which brought the full-year average to 5.8%. That’s largely after revived stimulus from government spending and an uptick in domestic consumption.

Though settling below the government’s 7%-8% target for the year, the 2015 growth was a far cry from the flagging growth seen elsewhere in the region, Moody’s said.

“This strong performance comes at a time when weak global demand is slowing growth in export-oriented Asian economies, and puts the Philippines in a more robust position than many of its regional peers to weather any further global economic and financial market volatility,” the report read.

Domestic sources of growth — such as consumer spending and “relatively stable” overseas remittances — provide the country a cushion from dampened global growth and weak exports demand, the ratings agency said.

It helped that the Philippines does not have China as its top trading partner, Moody’s said, as the world’s second largest economy has troubles itself.

“Although the Philippines has not been immune to China’s slowdown, it is less reliant on Chinese demand than many of its regional peers. Whereas many Asian countries count China as their largest export partner, it is the Philippines’ fourth-largest export destination,” the report read.

“The Philippines is also much less dependent on commodity receipts for exports or fiscal revenues than its regional peers.”

WeakGLOBAL TRADE has been offset by “robust demand for Filipino services such as business process outsourcing and tourism, which the government has sought to promote.”

For 2016, Moody’s expects the Philippine economy to grow by 6%, keeping a forecast offered in September.

The debt watcher said ramped-up infrastructure investments and election-related spending ahead of the May 9 presidential polls will boost the economy further, while noting “some political uncertainty” that may arise from the change in leadership come June 30.

NO POLICY EASING NEEDED
Major central banks have eased policy rates last week in response to increasing market volatilities, but the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said it has room to hold fire on interest rates.

“We monitor what advanced economies central banks and central banks in the region do as these affect risk appetite of global investors and therefore capital flows also. Authorities will do what they believe would work for their specific circumstances,” BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. said in a text message.

“Also, we don’t have to move in sync. So far our fundamentals have held up against these and other headwinds, aggregate demand remains firm and inflation expectations are well anchored. Thus there is no real urgency to change stance of policy now.”

The Bank of Japan on Friday pulled a surprise move to bring interest rates in negative territory, alongside continued easing by the European Central Bank as hinted by its president Mario Draghi. This comes amid expectations of further hikes in interest rates in the United States.

Commenting on the fourth-quarter GDP data released last week, Mr. Tetangco said the robust expansion meant current policy settings remain appropriate “as of the moment.”

As for the upcoming elections, the BSP chief said it would not likely be a big source of concern for the economy: “Election spending has a small positive impact on GDP and could raise inflation slightly. But these are not expected to persist. Many of the critical economic reforms have been institutionalized, so we can expect continuity of policies.”

EYES ON CORPORATE DEBT
In a separate report, Moody’s warned that slower growth prospects across Asia would likely weigh down the ratings for corporates and debt issuers in the region, with China’s slowdown and higher interest rates in the US seen as the key sources of volatility in capital flows.

“Asian economies will outperform most other emerging markets in 2016, testament to the region’s reasonably robust fundamentals. Nevertheless, against a backdrop of subdued global demand and financial market volatility, we expect flat or slower GDP growth for most Asian economies in 2016, with headline expansion coming in well below five-year averages in most cases,” it said in a Jan. 29 report.

“Slower growth and capital flow volatility will inevitably weigh on the top-line performance of rated Asian corporates and, after several years of rising leverage and weakening liquidity, this will likely lead to further downward ratings pressure and, ultimately, defaults.”

Moody’s expects the debt ratio for companies it rates at 4.9x at end-2015, worse than the 3.8x seen in 2011.

In Asia, only the Philippines and Taiwan hold “stable” ratings for the banking system and key indicators such as the operating environment, asset quality, capital, funding and liquidity, profitability and efficiency, and government support.

15 Vibrant Small Living Room Decor Ideas

When we talk about small living rooms, we know for one thing that it is one important issue since small living room decor ideas is in demand and is pretty much significant. We are all concerned as to how we can decorate our small living rooms to make it more prettier or more conducive not only for us, but for the people in the house.

The next pictures that you will be seeing are 15 Vibrant Small Living Room Decor Ideas that we have picked up for you to choose from. Unlike other rooms in the house, we have to make sure that everyone who lives in that particular home is considered – it’s not like we just live alone, well, unless you do. For example, a bedroom can be decorated the way how the user wants it to be, but with the living room, we consider more people to make living more comfortable for all. Take a look at the next picture and hope that you will enjoy.

 

Austin Living Room
1-Heather-Scott

Image: Heather Scott

This living room is pretty thanks to the decors used in this space – just like the frames by the mirror and the long drapes which also gives the room a feel of high ceilings.

California Residence

 

2-California-Residence

Image: anddesigns.com

Thanks to the warm lighting for this living room, it made it more cozy and great to hang out in. The colors of the walls complement well with the furniture in the room!

Condo Living Area

3-WCDesign-Studio

 

Image: WCDesignStudio

This room may be small, but with the right decoration, this room makes large living rooms out of place!

Condo Living Room

4-Gryffindor-Prince

Image: Gryffindor Prince

This condo looks all-modern with the appliances and lighting it has, but with making the room use white and greys – this room just became awesome!

Eclectic Living Room

5-Casey-Noble

 

Image: Casey Noble

This eclectic space looks incredibly stunning, thanks to the striped drapes and fabulously printed area carpet! And by the way, the center table and accent chair looks great too!

Traditional Blue & Brown Sitting Room

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Image: Judi Ackerman

This lovely traditional living room sets the mood for things close to vintage! The chairs, the tables and the decors make this room one happy place to live in!

Living Area

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Image: Roseven

Look at the stunning painting which evidently brightens up almost monochromatic room! Only the reds in this room seem to bring all the things together!

Living Blue

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Image: Micoliver1226

This living room looks a little bit masculine with the colors used. But adding the printed pillows and scarf plus an interesting center table makes the look complete.

Living Room W Chaise

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Image: Fini Home Design & Staging

Using a chaise paired to your sofa can look as charming as this. This is pretty as it already is because of the cute empty frames in the wall and a printed area carpet.

 

Modern Living Room

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Image: Dawna Jones Design

Don’t you like the boat-like inspired touch this living room has? This room got tons of interesting decors that not all homes consider of getting. Totally a breath of fresh air!

Small Living Room

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Image: Norman

Do you like the color of this room? The light coming from the windows creates an ambiance of comfort and modernism.

 

Small Residence

12-Zaunbrecher-Design

 

Image: Zaunbrecher Design

Cute color combination of white, grey and apple greens. The center table looks customized and the paintings look great on the walls too.

Studio Living Space

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Image: Paulrd0021

The color of this living room is just vibrant and refreshing! The colors chosen sure lights up the room! Very unique furniture, don’t you agree?

Urban Loft

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Image: Cortney and Robert Novogratz

This loft living space makes a regular living room look blank! We love how the wall was decorated with black and white photos matched with a great set of furniture and cute area carpet!

Vancouver Living Room

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Image: Fluff Designs and Decor

Contemporary living in a beautiful place makes life better! Just like this living room! This one sure it pretty and contemporary!

And that was our 15 Vibrant Small Living Room Decor Ideas which sure is pretty stunning and astounding examples of living spaces that gives us ideas of how we can make these areas more spacious, pretty, and a whole better place to live in! Take a look at living room decor ideas for you to compare regular sized living rooms from the small ones we posted for you guys!

 

For more information about this blog, click here.

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.

(Article from: http://business.inquirer.net/205807/property-developers-going-green)

Italpinas seeks ‘green building’ certification for all projects

By Krista A.M. Montealegre | Senior Reporter, Business World

PROPERTY DEVELOPER ITALPINAS DEVELOPMENT CORP. INTENDS TO SECURE “GREEN BUILDING” CERTIFICATION FROM THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORP. (IFC) FOR ALL ITS PROJECTS IN AN EFFORT TO SET ITSELF APART IN THE CROWDED REAL ESTATE MARKET.

Italpinas on Monday received the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) certification for Primavera Residences in Cagayan de Oro City, from the IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank.

Primavera Residences — a 10-storey, twin-tower, mixed used development — is the first completed condominium project in East Asia and the second project in the Philippines to be certified by EDGE.

“All our projects in the pipeline are up for EDGE certification,” Italpinas Chairman Romolo Nati said in a briefing yesterday in Makati City.

Italpinas is seeking EDGE certification for Primavera City in Cagayan de Oro and Miramonti in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, Mr. Nati said.

The real estate firm is upbeat that the green building recognition can translate to higher sales.

“The marketplace has become more and more noisy because it’s very easy to say that a project is green or environment friendly…With this framework available to us, we can show end users that this what we mean when we’re green,” Italpinas President Jose D. Leviste III said.

The design of Primavera Residences, combined with renewable energy that will be produced from solar panels found on the rood deck of the towers, will help bring down the overall energy consumption of the buildings. For example, Primavera Residences saw a 30% reduction in the use of air-conditioning units, Mr. Nati said.

EDGE is a green building certification system for emerging markets created by IFC. It is described to be a “measurable way for builders to optimize their designs, leading to a more investment-worthy and marketable product.”

Shares in Italpinas lost 20 centavos or 7.69% to close at P2.40 each on Monday.

Italpinas project gets IFC certification

By Catherine Talavera | Manila Times

GREEN builder Italpinas Development Corporation has received a green building certification from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, for the company’s Primavera Residences project in Cagayan de Oro.

For its eco-friendly design, the twin-tower, mixed-use development got the IFC’s Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE), company officials announced in a briefing Monday.

This makes Italpinas the second developer in the Philippines to get the mark.  The first was Imperial Homes, for its affordable housing projects in Batangas—the Tiarra Premiere Homes and the Delsey Homes.  Imperial Homes’ projects got the recognition early last year.

EDGE is a new green building certification system for emerging markets. Its goal is to prove that the next generation of buildings can be more profitable while making a lighter carbon footprint.

“To be able to qualify for certification, a new building must achieve a 20-percent reduction in energy, water, and embodied energy in materials compared [with] a conventional building,” IFC said during Monday’s handover rite.

Architect Romolo Nati, Italpinas chairman and chief operating officer, said the green building mark could further improve its projects’ take-up, which he described as already high.

“I would say that the occupancy of the units is quite high, because even if around 40 percent of our clients are overseas Filipinos—so they really don’t live there—with the access of a property management group, we are renting out their units for them, so that they’ll produce income,” Nati said.

The first tower of Italpinas’ Primavera Residences is already sold out, while the second tower is 80-percent taken up.

The first tower began construction in 2010 and was completed in 2012.  The firm began building its second tower in 2013 and completed it last year.

Nati emphasized that most units for the Cagayan De Oro project are literally occupied, as units bought by Filipinos who work or live abroad are being rented out to tenants.

Nati also expressed optimism that the EDGE certification would fulfil the firm’s goal of developing eco-friendly buildings for the middle-income market.

“So in some way, this is to prove that the stereotype that green building is very expensive has been broken,” Nati said.

Also, Italpinas President Jose Leviste III said the certification acknowledges what the firm has done and helps prove that green building is accessible to middle-market developers, as EDGE offers a more affordable certification.

“Relative to other forms of accreditation, EDGE is very mindful of excluding the cost of application as a significant factor,” Leviste said.  “That’s one good thing because it prevents us from seeing green accreditation as an elite certificate to pursue for only expensive developers to see.”

When asked if the certification will help increase property sales, Leviste said it might, and they are hopeful.

“It’s a positive thing. It’s a way of acknowledging what we’ve done.  So, yes, we hope so,”
he said.

The newly listed firm also aims to have all of its projects EDGE-certified.

Nati said the company is in the process of applying for certification for its other Cagayan de Oro project, the Primavera City.

(Article from: http://www.manilatimes.net/italpinas-project-gets-ifc-certification/240128/)

Italpinas gets IFC approval for green building certification

By VG Cabuag | Business Mirror

ITALPINAS Development Corp. has secured a greenlight to use the green-building certification of International Finance Corp. (IFC)called EDGE, or short for Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies, to one of its developments.

The company said IFC, the private-sector arm of the World Bank, awarded the EDGE certification to Italpinas’s Primavera Residences in Cagayan de Oro City.

Primavera is the first completed condominium project in East Asia to be certified by EDGE, which the IFC called its “innovation” unit as it helps property developers build and brand their properties “green” in a fast, easy and affordable way.

EDGE is supported by a software that encourages solutions to reduce energy, water and the energy used to make building materials by at least 20 percent, which is the standard for the certification, IFC said.

“All our future projects will be accredited and certified as green building by EDGE,” IDC Chairman and COO Architect Romolo Nati said in earlier interview.

The company said, Primavera, which will have 163 and 166 units for towers one and two, respectively, will be constructed at a cost of P670 million, which include the land.

Its second project, called Miramonti, meanwhile, is in Santo Tomas, Batangas, and will cost between P700 million and P750 million. It will sell the units of both developments between P85,000 and P95,000 per square meter.

Construction for both projects may start by this year, but all the necessary funding for the project has already been settled, company officials said.

The company, which said it uses passive and active green-design strategy, raised P207.44 million from its initial public offering, valuing the six-year-old firm at around P700 million.

“We are interested in alternative locations in the Philippines where we bring our innovative sustainable real-estate product. We’re also interested in expanding for mixed-use building to hotels to commercial and BPOs [business-process outsourcing],” Nati said.

The alternative sites that Nati are referring to are those second-tier cities of the country where the top players are still absent.

(Article from: http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/italpinas-gets-ifc-approval-for-green-building-certification/)