Given our country’s location along the typhoon belt and the Ring of Fire, we’ve learned to prepare for natural disasters like earthquakes and typhoons. Every year, an average of 20 typhoons enter the Philippines, at least five of which are catastrophic.
As we rise above the onslaught of typhoons these past months, the idea of owning a disaster-proof home comes to mind. Having your own home is a valuable investment as it is, more so if you’re assured that it’s built to last.
Known for its groundbreaking properties found in key locations in the city and provinces, Century Properties recognizes the importance of building not just captivating structures but architectural marvels that also uphold the safety and well-being of its communities.
EFFECTIVE FLOOD-PREVENTION AND MITIGATION SYSTEM
When looking for a home, the most important consideration you need to make is the location. Beyond the convenience and accessibility, you also need to check if the area you’re looking into is flood-prone or not.
In the north, although The Residences at Commonwealth in Quezon City stands on an elevated location, Century Properties took into consideration the surface water runoff that might affect neighboring villages and establishments. The site is also properly graded to ensure that the runoff from the property drains to the proper outfall locations.
For the Residences at Azure North in San Fernando, Pampanga, the entire site was backfilled by three to four meters to elevate the finish grade. They also incorporated adequate drainage design for flood readiness.
The area of Century City, along Kalayaan Avenue in Makati City, has not experienced uncontrollable floodwater surges, but that doesn’t mean proper systems aren’t needed. To prepare for unexpected surges, Century Properties has put in place a flood-prevention and mitigation system that includes installing sump pumps within the buildings which pump out water into the drainage.
The company also made sure to rehabilitate drainage lines found under neighboring streets to lessen the possibility of basement flooding. Ensuring that drainage lines are in good condition helps regulate the flow of water pumped out. Regular de-clogging and adding new drainage culverts were also done around Valdez Street, Salamanca Street, and Kalayaan Avenue toward the Pasig River outlet.
In Acqua Private Residences in Mandaluyong, homeowners need not worry about living in a waterside development. An extensive flood risk analysis was done for the site during its planning stages. Though it’s less likely to experience flooding given its open access to the sea, Century Properties still undertook measures to prevent flooding. All parking areas are above ground floor level. The ground floor of all towers, its amenity, and retail areas have an increased elevation of 1.5 meters.
Down south at the Azure Urban Resort Residences in Parañaque City, Century Properties worked with Barangay Marcelo Green and the city government in constructing a drainage system that traverses through the company property. This assures not only current Azure residents of a flood-free path, but also pedestrians and motorists who use Azure’s portion on West Service Road.
It’s no secret that when you are located on a higher floor, it’s most likely you’ll feel the ground shake during an earthquake. During these occurrences, it’s best not to panic and to stay vigilant.
Century Properties follows the Philippine National Building Code, employing a team of engineers and architects to ensure the integrity of its buildings — Century City Makati, The Residences at Commonwealth, the Residences at Azure North, Acqua Private Residences, and Azure Urban Resort Residences.
On top of following the National Structural Code of the Philippines, the high-rise condominiums also employ the Special Moment Resisting Frame. This technique allows buildings to withstand the forces caused by an earthquake. For its much taller buildings that dot the skyline, the company goes above and beyond by using performance-based design methods — considered as a gold standard in designing skyscrapers around the world. It specifies design parameters for a building to withstand the seven strongest earthquakes within the past 2,500 years.
Century Properties has also sought the expertise of the well-respected geotechnical expert Brian Tan to outline structural design considerations for its Commonwealth and Azure North projects. To add to this, the company commissioned top-notch Structural Engineers, Sy^2 + Associates and Tandem Engineering Consultancy for the structural design and analysis of the Commonwealth buildings. The internationally renowned Ove Arup & Partners served as the structural design peer reviewer for Azure North, and worldwide highly reputable Advanced Foundation Construction Systems Inc. served as the bored piling contractor for Azure North’s structural foundations.
The Philippines observes Fire Prevention Month every March. There are numerous causes and hazards related to fire, and maintaining vigilance is a must. In all projects by Century Properties, proper equipment is in places such as fire alarms, smoke detectors, sprinklers, fire extinguishers, and fire hose cabinets, and the presence of fire hydrants as readily available water sources. These are regularly tested and replaced to ensure effectiveness in case of fire.
Pressurized fire exits are also strategically located in each building, providing homeowners and staff a place to go during an emergency. Regular fire, earthquake, and emergency preparedness drills are conducted in every property to ensure everyone knows what to do, most especially the security and property management team, and circulars are also disseminated to keep everyone informed.
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS OF THE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT TEAM
The property management team is in charge of making sure the building is sound and in good condition. Aside from ensuring all safety equipment is in place, the team also undergoes frequent training to know what to do during emergencies. From handling equipment to providing assistance, homeowners can count on a professional and equipped property management team.
Century City, Acqua, Azure, Commonwealth, and Azure North also have Emergency Brigade Teams (EBT) per building that train regularly. Each team is ready to respond in case of an emergency, may it be a fire, an earthquake, and the like.
These days, finding a home goes beyond what looks good on paper. With your hard-earned money and safety on the line, choose a home where you can feel safe and secure. When inquiring about a property, don’t hesitate to ask for its design specifications relating to disaster preparedness. Now more than ever, research and asking the right questions are key.