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Firms occupying sustainable spaces reap economic and social benefits.
MANILA, 27 February 2012 - Corporations are increasingly required by shareholders and other stakeholders to track their carbon footprint and report on sustainability initiatives. As a result, green buildings like the Sun Life Center in Bonifacio Global City are now preferred by a growing number of corporate occupiers.
Jones Lang LaSalle, a professional services firm specializing in real estate and operating in 70 countries, revealed in a study that initiatives like the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) involving over 500 investor members are pushing large global companies to disclose and examine their energy usage, carbon emissions and other practices related to sustainability.
The study further disclosed that more than 3,000 companies have voluntarily reported their carbon emissions, water management and climate change policies to CDP, “perhaps swayed by CDP’s investor members who use information in deciding where to place more than $71 trillion in investment capital,” according to the report.
According to Sheila Lobien, Project Leasing director for the Jones Lang LaSalle Leechiu office in the Philippines, it is not only worldwide social pressure pushing companies to choose green buildings. It is also significant savings from energy costs.
“The Philippines has the highest energy costs in the Asia Pacific region. Green buildings are designed to conserve energy as they incorporate the latest energy-saving technologies,” she said.
Sun Life Centre is the first office building in Metro Manila to achieve LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council. LEED is short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design; it is a rating system accepted worldwide that measures how environmentally friendly a structure is in terms of its design, construction and operating systems.
One of Sun Life Centre’s main features, for instance, is its window system built around double-glazed Low Emissivity Glass. The glass allows daylight into the guilding while blocking heat and noise from outside. Thus, companies that lease space there can expect to spend less on air-conditioning, which accounts for as much as 35 percent of a building’s energy costs.
Moreover, the Sun Life Centre has a green roof that mitigates “heat island effect” or the propensity of concrete building rooftops to become heat magnets. Again, this feature generates energy savings.
The building also has carbon dioxide sensors and makes use of non-Volatile Organic Compound materials to eliminate the Sick Building Syndrome. This syndrome is marked by acute discomfort and other health issues in those who work there.
Located along Fifth Avenue in Bonifacio Global City, the 15-storey building’s office floors were quickly taken up by multinational clients upon completion in 2011. The building is currently 95 percent occupied.
“Sun Life Centre did not only attain its target occupancy and rental rates, it also achieved these target at a faster rate than it would have had it been offering a non-LEED certified building. It has set the standard for office building development in Bonifacio Global City and in other business districts,” said Lobien.
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