The construction industry is no stranger to waste. The job is a constant flux of trial and error brought about by centuries of ambition and business. But the term ‘waste’ is not just relegated to material trash, for in this industry, the end product is not safe from scrutiny. After all, an ill-conceived building that exhumes copious amounts of greenhouse gases means that it is by design, a structure that uses or wastes more electricity and water than it should. On the other hand, a green building goes against such wasteful design by improving the conditions of both the building process and the quality of its composition, resulting in a structure that costs less to manage.
How exactly is the industry doing in terms of switching over to sustainable methods? Has the Philippines embraced it, or is it still clinging to the less efficient ways of the past? Architect Giovanni Carino, Principal Architect of ProdigyAE Inc, believes that the Philippines started as a green-driven community during the days of tropical architecture. With the rise of climate change, he has seen both clients and developers catch up with the green building trend, thanks to the numerous benefits that it brings.
From the perspective of the company Philippine Geogreen, it sees a growing demand in green construction technology. According to an interview that Business World had with the company, awareness is growing for adopting eco-friendly solutions, as seen from residential and commercial owners, specifically SM Development Corporation and Ayala Corporation. In fact, Ayala has taken sustainable building seriously for years. They believe that it is essential for the future of every community they build. It was also reported that their old Bank of the Philippines building at the corner of Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas would be demolished and rebuilt using eco-friendly designs and innovations.
Besides corporations, there are also endeavors to promote sustainable building practices to the future engineers of the industry. One such event, the National Civil Engineering Symposium 2019, saw hundreds of students from respected universities gather for an 8-hour talk with numerous speakers. Among those is Engr. Mar Veran, head of ABS-CBN Group’s Sustainability Operations International. He, along with other professionals, told the students how they have a duty as future engineers to incorporate eco-friendly methods in their future projects.
Outside of the construction industry, several cities and residential areas have also done their part in promoting alternatives to transportation, such as the use of e-vehicles and bicycles. However, given the road pollution and the abysmal traffic situation in some places, the option for commuting might not be too appealing.
Sustainable construction should not be underestimated, for it is a process that keeps on giving, rather than a one-sided relationship that ends up becoming a burden in the long run. It is great to see the country interested in making sacrifices for a greener tomorrow.