By Jeffrey O. Valisno, Sub-Editor

Robinsons Magnolia certified as first ‘green’ mall

Posted on January 11, 2013

A NEW mall that has all the trimmings expected of a high-end mall in Metro Manila -- boutiques, restaurants, movie theaters, air-conditioning, and a garden -- also has a “clean” little secret -- its has been certified “green.”

THE REAR of Robinsons Magnolia features open-air dining and a small garden.
Gokongwei-owned Robinsons Magnolia Mall was recently certified as a “green” building by Quezon City, a few months after the four-level retail complex opened last August along Aurora Boulevard.

The new mall, operated by Robinsons Land Corp., was found to have strictly adhered to the stringent standards set under the city government’s Green Building Ordinance.

Arlene G. Magtibay, Robinsons Land general manager, said the awarding of the green building certification now makes the Robinsons Magnolia Mall “a showcase of sustainable development practices that would surely benefit shoppers, tenants, the developer and the environment over the long run.”

Originating from the need for more energy efficient and environmentally friendly construction practices, the concept of sustainable development and the “green” building movement have been gaining ground among developers in the country.

A “green” building refers to a structure and processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life cycle -- from design to construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition.

Green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by efficiently using energy, water, and other resources; protecting occupant health and improving employee productivity; and reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation.

Recognizing the importance of adopting green building practices to protect the environment, the Quezon City local government adapted SP-1917 or the Green Building Ordinance of 2009.

The ordinance requires the design, construction or retrofitting of building, other structures and movable properties to meet minimum standards of a green infrastructure. Those buildings that comply will be entitled to real property tax credits from the city government.

“Many of us may not be aware that the construction, maintenance and demolition of buildings consume a tremendous amount of energy and resources,” Quezon City Mayor Herbert M. Bautista said in a statement.

“Poor choice of materials and construction processes also lead to more greenhouse gas emissions. The building itself may compromise air and water quality,” he added.

“We are very glad that Robinsons Magnolia has been certified as Quezon City’s first Green Mall Building. We have always been concerned that our developments work with and not against the environment, and we are happy that the Quezon City government shares the same vision and has recognized our efforts towards this common goal,” Ms. Magtibay said in a statement.

Ms. Magtibay said that Robinsons Magnolia, which is Robinsons Land’s 32nd mall nationwide, has a skylight and glass curtains that allow for natural lighting. These fixtures, she explained, are expected to rake in huge energy savings for the company.

“To further reduce its carbon footprint, Robinsons Magnolia Mall used the more energy efficient colored LED (light-emitting diode) light fixtures for the façade as compared normal high wattage metal halide lamps, which saves 50% in energy consumption,” she said.

“In the mall’s interior, the mall resorted to high efficient light fixtures that save energy by 30%,” she added.

Ms. Magtibay said the mall likewise treats the wastewater coming from its sewage treatment plant, and recycles the wastewater for use in cleaning, flushing toilets and irrigation. “The mall has installed rainwater collectors, which help reduce its usage of fresh water,” Ms. Magtibay noted.

Robinsons Magnolia is Robinsons Land’s third mall in Quezon City, after Robinsons Galleria and Robinsons Novaliches.

Conceptualized by global design firm RTKL (which designed the LA Live in Los Angeles, the Mandarin Oriental in Miami, and the eBay Data Center in Salt Lake City, among others), Robinsons Magnolia has a gross floor area of 108,000 square meters (sq. m.), of which 42,000 sq. m. are leasable.

The shopping mall has four cinemas, a food court, and parking capacity for over 1,000 vehicles.