Greater Role for Eco-Friendly Architecture and Design Urged in Philippine Energy Plan

Apr 4, 2013



One of the country’s leading proponents for eco-friendly architecture believes the sector can make significant contributions to the Philippines’ energy security given a greater role in the Philippine Energy Plan.

Architect Romolo V. Nati, chairman and CEO of Italpinas Euroasian Design & Eco-Development Corp. interacts with Manila Bulletin Energy Reporter Myrna Velasco during his presentation made during the Feb. 27 media forum "Long Term Energy Outlook for the Mindanao Grid" held in Cagayan de Oro City. Also in photo are Lisa Go, chief of the Investment Promotion Office of the Department of Energy and Atty. Francis Saturnino Juan, executive director of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). (photo by Mike Banos, NPN)

In his presentation  “Eco-Logic Architecture:  Conceptualizing Buildings Differently,” made during the media energy forum “Long Term Energy Outlook of Mindanao Grid” held Feb. 27, 2013 at Cagayan de Oro City,  Architect Romolo V. Nati, Chairman and CEO, Italpinas Euroasian Design and Eco-Development Corporation,  said more “passive measures” represented by eco-friendly design and engineering could make a significant contribution to the attainment of energy security under the Philippine Energy Plan.

“The Philippine Energy Plan 2009-2030 is the blueprint for all players in the energy sector for the next ten years,” said Director Jesus Tamang of the Energy Policy and Planning Bureau, Department of Energy. “It lists three broad policy thrusts based on the concept of enabling better energy choices for a better quality of life: achieving energy security, enacting power market reforms and Implement social mobilization and cross-sector monitoring mechanisms.”

However, Mr. Nati noted the plan doesn’t take cognizance of the significant correlation between energy and real estate as demonstrated by current trends in the world’s global energy situation.

“Around 25-40 percent of total energy produced worldwide is consumed by buildings,” Mr. Nati said. “Buildings also produce seventy percent of the total volume of carbon dioxide in cities.”

Building air conditioners alone account for over one trillion watts of the world’s total energy consumption and in the Philippines, air conditioners account for 60 percent of the total energy consumed by buildings, he added.

Mr. Nati believes the real estate sector, particularly the architecture, engineering and energy sub-sectors can substantially contribute to the attainment of energy security in the country as demonstrated by the Italpinas experience in the Philippines.

“Italpinas is an Italian-Filipino joint venture which designs and develops innovative green buildings with unique energy features in efficiency and generation,” he said.

Architect Romolo Valentino Nati, Chairman & CEO, and Mr. Harold J. Dacumos, Chief Financial Officer (2nd and 3rd from left) receive the citation for Italpinas Euroasian Design & Eco-Development Corp. as one of the 10 Most Attractive Energy Investments from CTI-PFAN during the 2013 Asia Forum for Clean Energy Financing-3 (AFCEF-3) held in Singapore last Feb. 22. Also in photo are CTI-PFAN’s Mr. Elmer Holt, Manager and Executive Committee Chair (left), Mr. Charles Cole B. Navarro, Philippine Country Coordinator (2nd from right) and Mr. Kei Miyaji, Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry, Japan.

As a vertically integrated company, Italpinas designs, builds and markets its buildings using a cross-disciplinary approach which has already reaped it international awards for design and finance.

Italpinas takes care of development and property management while sister companies RVN+ Design takes care of concept, architectural and technical design and construction management and CEC Energy is charged with the energy aspects of the projects.

“With this cross-disciplinary approach, we have come up with “Unique Value Propositions” which basically integrate Renewable Energy and Real Estate through innovative architectural features; reduce building energy consumption through “passive green design”; reduce energy

cost by having buildings generate part of their energy needs; ensure power cost/optimization through “Smart Energy Management” thus maximizing benefits to end users and investors,” Mr. Nati said.

These “Unique Value Propositions” have been amply demonstrated in the energy optimizing features of its first project, the 10-story twin tower P450-million Primavera Residences at the Pueblo de Oro Business Park in Uptown Cagayan de Oro which features an iinner courtyard to increase ventilation, solar panels and cross ventilation, and overhang shading to maximize shade from the building’s orientation to lessen aircon use.

Among the international awards Italpinas has garnered in the past two years include a citation as “One of the most promising clean energy investment opportunities in the Philippines”, 2nd annual Philippines Clean Energy Investor Forum, 2011; “One of the Best Condo Developments in the Philippines”, 2011 South East Asia Property Awards and 4th Finalist in CTI-PFAN Asia Forum for Clean Energy Financing (AFCEF-3), 2013.

Italpinas and its affiliate companies works closely with the Philippine Green Building Council, Investment Capital Corporation of the Philippines, Pueblo de Oro Development Corporation, Board of Investments, Land Bank of the Philippines, Bank of the Philippine Islands and Philippine Savings Bank.

Architect Miguel C. Guerrero, chairman of the Green Architecture Advocacy Philippines, notes

how the thrust for sustainability has two components in society: Government or Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) providing energy and potable water; and  private sector or individuals finding ways to reduce energy and water consumption.

“These two follow the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity,” he noted. “For the private sector to reduce energy consumption and water consumption, basic and traditional strategies must first be undertaken before our technology driven strategies are to have any meaningful impacts.”

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