The Asia-Pacific region is catching up in terms of “green” building initiatives. With mounting pressure from the international business community—especially from foreign investors—on local locators to offer more green buildings in the country, it is increasingly becoming relevant for developers to vie for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) certification.

LEED certification is a worldwide sustainability rating system developed by the US Green Building Council.

Analysts previously predicted that the surge in the number of green buildings would support the robust growth of the country’s property sector market. And that Fortune 500 companies, multinational corporations and even local firms now consider green initiatives as prerequisites in their day-to-day maintenance and operations.

Inquirer Property previously quoted Rick Santos, CBRE Philippines chair and CEO, as saying that “through our global networks and resources, we have been strengthening the drive toward sustainable development which, as pointed out in several studies, could also benefit not only developers and the environment but also end-users—tenants, employees and residents—in the long run.”

Century Properties has been granted the LEED certification by the US Green Building Council for its Fort Bonifacio office tower Asian Century Center. Its Century Spire Office in Makati, meanwhile, is vying for a LEED seal.

Commitment

In a statement sent to the Inquirer, Century Properties noted: “The LEED certification affirms our commitment to adopt green building strategies and offer long-term benefits of energy and resources efficiency to the end users of our office developments. We will wear the logo proudly.”

The LEED-certified level covers a host of sustainable and energy-saving practices in the construction of the tower, including site sustainability, access to alternative public transportation, development density and community connectivity, parking capacity for alternative transportation and access to low-emitting and fuel-efficient alternative transportation.

Also included are standards for water efficiency such as water use reduction; materials and sources management such as construction waste management, use of recycled content and regional materials; indoor environmental quality such as the use of low-emitting adhesives and sealants, paints and coatings, indoor chemical and pollutant source control, thermal comfort control and the maximization of daylight.

The office tower has almost 26,000 square meters of leasable office space and is under construction on a lot circled by 27th Street, 3rd and 4th Avenues in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Also a collaboration with the Columbian Group of Companies of Jose Ch. Alvarez, it will house premium car brand BMW’s headquarters as well as its largest showroom in the country.

Its key features are a sky bar, a café, conference facilities and recreational amenities. The office tower will also introduce Skycourts with gardens on the 12th and 19th levels.

Bearing a distinctly modern design, the Asian Century Center will have features that specifically cater to a 24-hour working schedule as it targets corporate and business process outsourcing firms as future locators.

Diversification

Asian Century Center is Century Properties’ third project in Fort Bonifacio, and is in line with the company’s diversification strategy as it ventures into the commercial leasing business.

A LEED green building certification has also been applied for the Century Spire tower, making possible integrated sustainable strategies to lessen waste and energy costs for office locators.

The mixed-use building located at Century City on Kalayaan Avenue, Makati, is adding a minimum of 23,000 sq m of office space to the market, with single-unit office spaces ranging from 50 to 90 sq m. Units may be combined to form up to an entire floor of office space.

The company said the units will be sold to end-users seeking a prime location for their business, as well as to those seeking to lease out their purchased units upon completion. Current Makati rental rates for prime office is approximately P900 to P1,300 per month.

Aside from its strategic Makati location, Century Spire features a groundbreaking architectural design by the renowned New York Ground Zero masterplan architect Daniel Libeskind, making it ultra-distinct and prestigious from peer structures. Armani Casa is designing the Spire Office lobby.

Two of the tower’s floors will be dedicated to retail space for select locators, while its auditorium, concept food hall and fine-dining restaurant will all be of premium design. The building will also have separate entrance driveways and lobbies for office tenants and residents, for their convenience and privacy.

Accredited office space tenants will also enjoy fiscal and nonfiscal incentives as the building is accredited by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.

“Century Spire Office is the only new prime property within Makati’s business district. Given all the indicators we are positive that this will be well received by the market, and that the robust economy will continue to expand the office sector in the coming years,” said Marco R. Antonio, chief operating officer of Century Properties.

Riding the office boom

Century Properties said it is expanding its commercial assets on the back of a strong economy that fuels the demand for office space, especially for the sectors of business process outsourcing (BPO) and IT.

Citing a Colliers report from 2014, Century confirms the strong demand for office space in Makati, with vacancy rates dropping to 1.9 percent because of demand from the “BPO and traditional office takers.”

On a broader spectrum, the report also added global outsourcing advisory firm Tholons’ recent announcement that the BPO industry “can become a $48-billion industry by 2020.”

A 6.4-percent GDP growth rate and another investment grade rating upgrade from Standard & Poor’s Financial Services also boosted the Philippines’ attractiveness to foreign investment, drawing more international firms to capitalize in the country’s intelligent workforce.

As more investments are expected to pour into the country, chiefly in the central business district of Makati and Fort Bonifacio, Century said it is positive about the prospects of its planned commercial space portfolio, with Century Spire offices as the newest project in addition to its Asian Century Center office building in Fort Bonifacio, where Century Properties has 27,000 sq m.  In December 2014, the company also started the turnover of Centuria Medical Makati, an outpatient IT-medical building with close to 700 doctors’ clinics.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer | April 11, 2015