Arthaland goes ‘green’ with new BGC building

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Arthaland Corp.
Arthaland Corp. has fully leased out its P3.5-billion Century Pacific Tower in Bonifacio Global City. -- ARTHALAND CORP.

By Arra B. Francia

ARTHALAND CORP. is keeping its commitment to go green by securing the certification of both local and global sustainability rating systems for its Century Pacific Tower in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

The listed property developer’s 30-storey building satisfies standards of both Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE).

BERDE is awarded by the Philippine Green Building Council, while LEED is from the United States Green Building Council, ensuring the Century Pacific Tower addresses requirements in both the local and global setting.

“By having both, we adhere not just to the global standards, but also to the local requirements in our local setting. So think global, act local,” Arthaland Executive Vice-President and Treasurer Leonardo Arthur T. Po said during the building’s launch last March 22.

Mr. Po explained the LEED certification focuses on the energy modelling of the building. While BERDE also looks at power consumption, it further focuses on the building’s water consumption.

“This will serve as a legacy for the city of Manila and the Philippines. This is our way of honoring our country… no better way of doing that by creating a landmark in BGC but also a sustainable project that will give back in the long term,” Mr. Po said.

Arthaland Assistant Vice-President for Technical Service Edgar V. Sabidong said that aside from getting green certification, the company also works on educating its tenants to maintain sustainability practices inside the building.

“Anti-smoking policy, segregation of waste — these are very important. That is to keep the life cycle of the building. So we need to maintain it. We have a material recovery facility. We encourage segregation, what can be reduced and recycled,” Mr. Sabidong said during a tour of the building’s facilities.

Educating its tenants will allow the building to retain its green certifications, as Mr. Sabidong noted that some developments lose the certification once tenants start moving in.

Mr. Po noted that Arthaland has already leased out 95% of the building to multinational firms, with the remaining 5% allotted for the company’s internal needs. Rental rates in the Century Pacific Tower are comparable with premium rates in the BGC area, with each square meter priced at up to P1,300 per month.

While locating in a green building comes at a premium cost, Mr. Sabidong said this will be offset by the tenants’ savings in operational costs.

Mas mahal siya, pero ang (It’s more expensive, but the) ultimate operational cost, very significant naman ang saving mo. That is really the benefit of a green building. Health and wellness of the employees also,” Mr. Sabidong said.

The idea of sustainable buildings is in line with Arthaland’s commitment to be one of the best developers in the country, despite not having a large footprint.

“There’s the attention to detail. Because we are relatively small, we are able to be creative about the design, we are able to accept different approaches. We don’t do cookie cutter development, which if you have dozens and dozens of buildings you are relegated to a formula approach, which is never the approach of Arthaland,” Arthaland Vice-Chairman and President Jaime C. Gonzalez said.