Certified Green: The importance of getting a green building certification

Before any building can be called green, it must be evaluated and rated by an impartial, third-party organization. A property developer cannot make the green declaration on its own; instead, it must submit the project to a recognized body for an assessment. In the Philippines, several green certification bodies can carry out this evaluation, like BERDE, LEED, and EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies).

Having a green building certification means that the project was designed and built based on sound ecological principles. It means the developer followed industry standards on sustainability and that it complied with environmental requirements. It benefits the developer and the residents of the development, the community where it is located, the local and national governments, and, on a bigger perspective, the global environment. This speaks of the impact and significance of green building certification.

As the world becomes immersed in climate change-related problems, some developers have taken it upon themselves to align their efforts with the world’s initiatives toward the fight against climate change. Green certification is attractive to investors and gives the developer’s project and brand advantage in terms of image.

In the Philippines, there has been a marked increase in interest in green building accreditation among developers. And I believe it will become even more attractive if incentives are in place because, in the long run, and as I have mentioned above, it is the entire ecosystem of community, consumer, and climate that will eventually benefit from the acceleration of this process.

The company I run, Italpinas Development Corporation (IDC), has chosen to work with EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) from the several certification bodies available to Philippine projects. With this, IDC has shown in concrete terms that it champions the ideals behind the green certification of real estate projects. This is aligned with our corporate principles on environmental sustainability.

We chose EDGE for the following reasons: (1) its rating system is very much contextualized with the location of the property being evaluated, which means that local conditions are taken into consideration during the evaluation; (2) EDGE gives more weight to passive green strategies, which are more related to the design of the structure rather than the technology used in construction; and (3) their software is streamlined, and the process can be done easily online at an accessible price. And the fact that EDGE is an innovation of the International Finance Corp (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, adds an extra layer of credibility and authority.

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