Sustainable offices to stay beyond pandemic

Health and wellness have now become everyone’s priority and this is likely to stay even beyond the pandemic.

A lot of people today are not only seeking to live in healthier communities, but are also hoping to work in places that could offer the best for their wellness. This is a trend that property developers have taken notice of as they aim to build more sustainable office buildings.

“The COVID-19 situation has accelerated the adoption of sustainable office spaces and we see this trend complementing the recovery of office leasing demand across Metro Manila beyond 2021,” Colliers Philippines said in its “Green Edge: Future-proofing offices post-pandemic” report.

Colliers Philippines believes that adopting green and sustainable features plays a crucial role in future-proofing office towers beyond the pandemic,” it added.

More developers are constructing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified buildings to respond to the demands of an increasingly broad and more discerning clientele.

“LEED buildings will likely account for 37 percent of new office supply from 2021 to 2023,” Colliers also said.  

Among the LEED-certified buildings set to be completed from 2021 onwards are One Ayala Tower 1, SM Mega Tower, The Glaston Tower, Primex Tower, and Glas Tower.

Another major building due to be completed during the period is Arthaland’s Cebu Exchange Tower, the largest office tower to be built in the Visayas-Mindanao area with a Gross Leasable Area (GLA) of 108,500 sq metres (sqm). The development is currently pre-certified for LEED Gold and is on track for other building certifications such as the Building for Ecology and Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE), Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiency (EDGE) and the WELL certification from the WELL Building Institute (WBI).

Green building certifications have become a seal of authenticity to end-users for standard green building practices, according to Colliers.

“Colliers recommends that developers upgrade their buildings by creating a seamless and efficient overall experience for today’s workforce.

It added that this can be done by incorporating technology and design enhancements in office space as we see the increasing importance of LEED and WELL certified options to attract major tenants.

“Overall, Colliers foresees a market that is due for an upgrade driven by shifting tenant profiles that cater to the more discerning Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), multinational corporations (MNCs) and traditional occupiers.” Colliers said.

Given this, Colliers sees the market moving  from basic structures to more spacious, LEED certified buildings, with more energy efficient systems, consequently improving the overall experience of employees and visitors alike.

“Even post-pandemic, Colliers believes that landlords are likely to remain competitive by improving office amenities,” the property services firm said.