News Article

From eyesore to sustainable building: Developer at the forefront of going ‘green’

07/27/2012 | By: Theresa S. Samaniego, Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE PREMIER address of Alphaland Tower is definitely a plus for locators.

The preference and bias for everything sustainable is being felt all over the world and the Philippines is no exception.

And such demand has led developers to lean towards that direction of putting up “green” projects.

Upscale property developer Alphaland Corp., for one, is certainly among the front runners.

Its latest development, Alphaland Tower at 6789 Ayala Avenue, whose office units will be turned over next year, has transformed what used to be an eyesore into a precertified green building.

Alphaland Tower is a 34-story traditional office tower that will rise right in the heart of the Makati Central Business District.

“It is coming up in the last remaining properties on Ayala Avenue. Its actually an eyesore before but now we are hoping that it will become one of the more high-end, state-of-the-art office towers in the area once it opens by January 2013,” said Luis Miguel R. Villanueva, project director, Alphaland.

Designed by Hong Kong’s Wong & Ouyang and a number of Filipino architects, Alphaland Tower has a gross floor area of 48,000 square meters with a generous floor area allocation of 1,100-1,600 sq m for each level. A two-story glass ceiling will envelope its grand lobby.

Precertified gold rating

Registered with the United States Green Building Council’s Green Building Rating Dystem-LEED, Alphaland Tower recently earned a precertified Gold rating for Core and Shell construction. This covers sustainable design for building elements, which involve the structure, building envelope and the HVAC system.

“As a new developer we wanted to be unique and to get out of the traditional way of building. We wanted to be more of a sustainable type of developer who will not just build the way the others do. We want to make an impact, so we looked into the USGBC’s green building standards and we thought it was a good fit,” he disclosed.

And while the whole tower is equipped with environmentally sustainable technologies which will allow future tenants to drive down operating costs, Alphaland is continuously employing methods and technologies to further meet the five categories set by the council that would allow them to acquire the Gold LEED certification.

Such features include the unique curtain wall system to reduce solar heat gain inside the building, effectively lowering energy consumption for air conditioning, and the advanced air filter technology to improve air quality and occupant well-being and productivity inside the tower.

5 categories

“We are continuously working on the five categories that would allow future tenants to drive down operating costs and achieve total wellness and well-being,” Villanueva noted.

Meanwhile, another LEED feature of the building, according to Villanueva is the use of low flow plumbing fixtures that would allow future tenants at least 20 percent of savings based on normal consumption.

“Also during construction we monitor and make sure that we don’t pollute the environment, so whether it’s protecting the drainage system during construction or controlling dust from spreading outside the construction area, we made sure those are being handled well,” he said.

Moreover, Alphaland ensures that only environment-friendly and nontoxic materials will be used for the interior finishes.

There will be designated parking spaces and bus stop to encourage car pooling. Also another advantage is its close proximity to covered walkways and Ayala MRT.

“At Alphaland Tower, reducing your carbon footprint goes hand in hand with reducing your operating expenses. The energy-efficient systems will help tenants make the most of the money spent on utilities while letting them work in utmost comfort,” Villanueva claimed.

The whole tower will likewise be powered with high-grade fiber optic cabling. Next-generation broadband infrastructure ensures adaptability to future innovations, and is expected to lure both ICT and non-ICT companies that rely heavily on modern telco infrastructure for their operations.

According to Villanueva, the ground and second levels of Alphaland Tower will be offered as prime commercial space while a three-story penthouse will be available for single lease. The Penthouse meanwhile will have its own rooftop gardens and lounge areas, making it the most desirable office space in the country.

“We also know that the multinational market are looking at sustainable buildings as part of their standards and we will make sure will meet their needs and be at par with the world market,” he concluded.