Arthaland is a publicly listed company in the Philippines and the pioneer developer for premium green and sustainable projects. At the heart of every Arthaland project is sustainability, exceptional and innovative design, and high quality construction standards. All the company’s residential and office projects adhere to global and national standards for green buildings through the US Green Building Council’s Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system and the Philippine Green Building Council’s Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE) rating system.
Arthaland is the world’s first developer to earn the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC’s) Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) Zero Carbon certification for its flagship office building, the ArthaLand Century Pacific Tower (ACPT). The building reduces energy use by 45%, water use by 64% and embodied energy in materials by 34%. It is the only triple-certified project in the Philippines, having received, in addition to the EDGE Zero Carbon certification, the LEED Platinum rating and BERDE 5-star certification, the highest and most prestigious categories in green building rating standards.
The sustainability concept of the project first involves studying the characteristics of the location to maximize the natural resources, and creating an energy efficient building envelope in order to reduce the energy demands of the building. The next step involves using energy efficient systems to lower the total energy requirements of the development. When complemented with a purely renewable source, the project will result in an operational carbon neutral building.
ACPT has been designed to achieve its exemplary sustainable energy performance by means of the following:
- The building is designed with triple- and double-glazed curtain wall systems strategically oriented to insulate the building from heat while allowing natural light to be transmitted in, thereby reducing the energy required to cool and light the spaces.
- The mechanical systems of the building were also designed to optimize thermal zoning to consider the different cooling requirements of the interior spaces. This further minimises the amount of energy required for air conditioning.
- The building uses of a top of the line heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system, with an average energy efficiency rating (EER) of 15, resulting in lowered electrical consumption required for cooling.
- The building is designed with an Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) system to recover the cool air from the exhaust system, transferring it by treating the incoming outdoor air, thereby lessening the energy needed by the cooling system;
- The building’s ventilation system is designed with a Variable Speed Drive (VSD) to communicate with the carbon dioxide sensors located in the regularly occupied spaces. The sensors identify the density of a space at a given time and allows the VSD to appropriately function only at the required speed, avoiding unnecessary energy wastage when the space is not fully occupied;
- The lighting system of the building uses intelligent design such as daylight and occupancy sensors. The lamps are then able to accommodate the needs of the space by adjusting the lux level of the lighting fixtures to compliment what is naturally available, and shut off when the space is unoccupied;
The energy required by the building, after the reduction and efficiency strategies, is supplied by renewable sources. ACPT is 100% powered by FirstGen’s Pantabangan-Masiway Hydroelectric Plant located in Nueva Ecija, Philippines. This clean energy source allows ACPT to operate with zero carbon emissions, without relying on widely available coal-based energy sources.
Other sustainable features include the low flow and water efficient plumbing fixtures to reduce the water demand of the building, as well as the harvesting, treatment and reuse of greywater such as rainwater and condensate water for landscaping and toilet flushing demands. A substantial amount of the building materials was locally available, such as the in-situ reinforced concrete construction. These materials were manufactured and constructed through low embodied energy processes.
Arthaland’s commitment to sustainability does not end at the building’s turnover but extends into its operational life. Properties developed by Arthaland are monitored through Arthaland’s subsidiary company, Emera Property Management, Inc., so that all its sustainability features are intact, operating as intended and well maintained. ACPT was designed and constructed as a premium grade sustainable office building remains and will continue to raise the bar throughout its operational life.
Arthaland’s vision is to be the preferred company for sustainable developments, ensuring that the future will be better for its customers because of how the company does things today. The philosophy of its stakeholders is reflected in the company name. Artha is a Sanskrit word connoting purpose, knowledge, significance and wealth. Not just in material terms but, more importantly, in the enduring intangibles such as comfort, health and happiness. This concept characterizes the company’s commitment to sustainability and is reflected in each and every project of the company. “That is our philosophy. It is not just about making money. We want to take care of the environment. We want to leave a legacy behind.” says Jaime C. Gonzalez, Vice Chairman and President.
In this era of global warming and climate change, it is essential for all the stakeholders in the real estate industry to embark on sustainable developments, and we should collectively work on greener initiatives that offer solutions to our planet’s environmental issues. Building green takes more time, effort and great commitment but the process becomes smoother and easier when sustainability is embedded in the developer’s design and development philosophy.