Tuesday, 12 May 2009

PGMA breaks ground for construction of first "green" high-rise building in Asia

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo broke ground this morning for the construction of the P7-billion Zuellig Building, the first ever “Green” high-rise office building not only in the Philippines but in Asia.

The simple ceremonies, led by the President and Zuellig officials headed by their chairman Stephen Zuellig and Zuellig Group Family Foundation chairman Roberto Romulo, were held at the building’s future site at the corner of Makati and Paseo de Roxas Avenues in Makati City.

The 33-floor Zuellig building, said to be the “largest investment in a high-rise office building in the Philippines,” occupies 66,000 square meters of prime office space in the heart of Makati City’s central business district.

To be built at a cost of P7 billion, the Zuelling building is proof that investors’ confidence in the Philippines remains strong, positive and upbeat.

“Despite the challenging global economic environment, Zuellig reaffirms with this P7-billion investment, its confidence in the resilience of the Philippine economy and in the status of Makati as the country’s premier business center,” said a statement from the project’s exclusive leasing agent, CB Richard Ellis.

The “Green Building” tag was attached to the Zuelling Building for having conformed to the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) guide for developers, architects, engineers and the construction industry towards sustainable design.

Its design, with large windows, makes efficient use of natural light and outdoor views to cut down on electricity costs.

The Zuellig Building will employ highly efficient HVAC (heating, ventilating and air-conditioning) systems; utilize low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints, sealants, carpets and furniture; and provide filtered outside air for superior indoor air quality.

Other “Green Building” procedures the Zuellig Building will use are:

• A construction waste management plan during construction to divert waste materials from landfills through recycling and salvaging;
• A centralized waste recycling system during normal building operations;
• Efficient bulbs, task lighting and the installation of sensors to curtail unnecessary lighting and reduce energy use;
• Reflective finishes on roofs and other surfaces to diminish “heat islands;”
• Reduction of water usage through the efficient management of potable water, the careful selection of fittings and fixtures, the capture of rain and condensate water, the use of water-saving surface materials and the installation of drainage systems; and’
• The prohibition of refrigerants emitting compounds that contributes to global warming.

With these measures in place, the Zuellig Building aims to be accorded with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification – a certification given to high rise building found to have conformed with “Green Building” code of the USGBC.

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