INSIDE THE BOARDROOM: Emma B. Topacio

Currently the PHILGBC Chair of the National Convention Committee, Emma is the Buildings End Segment Head – Marketing of Republic Cement Services, Inc.  She is a licensed Civil Engineer, holds a Masters in Business Administration degree and is a Certified BERDE Professional by the Philippine Green Building Council.

Emma started her career in 2005 as a Structural Engineer for Sy2 + Associates, Inc., the leading structural engineering consultancy firm in the Philippines.  In 2011, she joined James Hardie Philippines and was in charge of Technical Support, Product Development and Business Development.  Thereafter, she was with AyalaLand Hotels and Resorts Corp. as a Project Development Manager where she was involved in the conceptualization, planning, implementation and delivery of hotel and resort projects.

Emma joined Republic in 2013.  Her role allows her to work with specifiers and key influencers to develop building solutions, in line the Company’s vision of being a trusted leader in innovative construction solutions for building a greener and stronger Republic.

INSIDE THE BOARDROOM: Elizabeth G. Rabuy

Elizabeth “Beth” Garcia-Rabuy is on her second term as a member of the Board of Trustees.  She is FPD Asia Property Services, Inc.’s representative under the Building Professionals and Service Providers member category.  She is the Chair of Public Relations Committee of the PHILGBC.

Beth is a Certified Public Accountant by profession who earned her chops in professional facilities and property management by managing Bonifacio Global City during its inception and early years.  She served as the General Manager of Bonifacio Estates Services Corporation (BESC) and Vice President for Estate Services of Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation.

In 2000, Beth left BESC to head up FPD Asia Property Services, Inc. (formerly FPD-Savills Philippines, Inc.), the pioneer property management firm in the Philippines with over 70 managed properties in its portfolio.  The almost 30-year history of FPD Asia was made richer in 2005 when it became an all-Filipino company with her at the helm.

From early days, Beth has held to the guiding principle that land is not inherited from our forefathers but borrowed from our children.  Thus, her advocacy to help sustain the environment by promoting green practices in the properties FPD Asia manages.  Under her leadership, FPD Asia secured and maintains an ISO 14001 Certification for its implementation of an Environmental Management System (EMS).  Beth has also strengthened FPD Asia’s environmental advocacy with partnerships with ABS-CBN’s Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation–Bantay Kalikasan and Udenna Environmental Services, Inc. among others.

Beth believes that PHILGBC and its members, like FPD Asia, have the ability to set an important example and educate their clients and communities about what they can do to foster sustainable development in their properties.

INSIDE THE BOARDROOM: Rowena C. Ramos

ROWENA CANLAS RAMOS is a Registered Architect and Leader in the promotion of the National Voluntary Green Building Rating System BERDE. She is a Certified BERDE Professional (CBP) since 2011 and is handling several BERDE Registered Projects. She completed the BERDE Assessor Training in the same year after qualifying as a CBP.

She is one of the founding members and volunteer of the Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC). In 2009, she became a Fellow of the Asia-Pacific Green Building Leadership Program of the Australian Leadership Awards Fellowship (ALAF).

In 2013, she was elected as a member of the PHILGBC Board of Trustees to represent the Individual, Academe and Civil Society Network.

She served as the Chairperson of the BERDE Review Committee of the PHILGBC and worked for the Philippine Energy Efficiency Project (PEEP) of the Department of Energy (DOE) in partnership with the Council.

In 2014, as President of Ecotektonika she was again elected to serve for three (3) years representing the Building Professionals and Service Providers.

She served as the Chair for the National Convention Committee for 2014, 2015 and 2016 and organized the flagship annual green building conference of the PHILGBC, Building Green Conference.

Currently, she is the Chair of the BERDE Committee which focus is the technical development of the Philippine’s National Voluntary Rating System.

She led the Ecotektonika Team in the delivery of Ecologically Sustainable Design (ESD) of the first ever government building, Laguna Lake Development Authority Building, to be awarded BERDE 3-Star under New Construction.

She recently completed her work as a Consultant of the Climate Change Commission for the UN Environment project for the country assessment of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA) for the Building Sector.

She served as the Principal Consultant for the development of the Green Masonry Module of the International Labor Organization in partnership with the Association of Construction and Informal Workers (ACIW). She was also involved in the delivery of the Zero Carbon Resorts in Palawan as part of the PHILGBC Team of Experts.

She has served the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) as an Adviser of the UAP-Student Auxiliary and as a member of the organizing committee both for UAP National Convention (NatCon) and Convention Exhibit (CONEX). She is the first lady member of the UAP-Manila Maharlika to be elected as Chapter President and served for two consecutive terms.

With 18 years of diverse practice in design and planning, project coordination and management, she is carving a niche for Ecotektonika in the Sustainability Practice and BERDE Management.

FEATURED PROJECT: De La Salle University Henry Sy Sr. Hall

The De La Salle University Henry Sy Sr. Hall (DLSU HSSH) is a BERDE pilot project and the first educational institution building in the country to be recognized under the BERDE Assessment and Certification system, receiving its 2-Star Design Recognition in 2015.

HSSH commemorates the 100 years of De La Salle University (DLSU) and illustrates the significant role the university plays in promoting an empowering education towards national development as well as the university’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. It serves as a testimony to the University’s commitment in pursuing sustainability in all its campus development projects with the goal of mitigating and managing the community’s impacts on the natural environment and society.

The project was originally conceptualized in 2009 as a pivot for transformative learning and scholarship. HSSH incorporates the university’s heritage and green building features such as rainwater collection and water recycling system which support the university’s water conservation efforts. Gardens and open areas were allotted into the different floors to promote synergy and collaboration among members of the academic community in a relaxed learning environment. Energy management control systems are in place to regulate room temperature and air flow for efficient cooling and air conditioning.

To know more about BERDE, please email us at berde@philgbc.org

FEATURED MEMBER: Republic Cement Services, Inc.

Company Overview

Republic draws its roots from Republic Cement Corporation. Founded in 1955, the company has been associated with some of the world’s best performing organizations such as Blue Circle and Lafarge. Recently, Republic became part of the CRH-Aboitiz team in the Philippines.

CRH is a leading building materials company with main headquarters in Dublin, Ireland and Aboitiz is a diversified Filipino business group recognized as one of the best managed organizations in the country and in Asia. Together, they create a strong platform for future growth as they build the leading building materials business in the Philippines. As the nation’s partner, they aim to empower the best local talent to constantly innovate and evolve their construction solutions to improve lives, develop better communities and push their boundaries towards global excellence.

Republic’s commitment to Sustainability is enshrined in one of its core values, Respect for the environment and for the communities where it operates. In every stage of the manufacturing process, Republic ensures that sustainability and community development remain at the forefront of its business. From the rehabilitation of its quarries and its aggressive reforestation program, to its alternative fuels and waste management solutions, Republic continuously finds ways to reduce its environmental footprint by cutting its dependencies on fossil fuels and non-renewable quarry materials and to contribute significantly to carbon sequestration, environmental protection and enhancement, and to the economic and social development of the communities where it operates.

Republic Cement Group manufactures the country’s best-quality cement and building materials at seven strategically located sites across the Philippines, offering the widest supply footprint for its seven brands – Republic, Fortune, Rapidset, Kapitbalay, Mindanao, and Wallmaster.

Republic Cement Services, Inc is a Gold-Sustaining Corporate Member of the Philippine Green Building Council since 2015.

5th Asia Pacific Real Estate Investment Summit Philippines

MAKATI CITY, 31 March 2017 – The Asia Pacific Real Estate Association Philippines hosted this year’s 5th Asia Pacific Real Estate Investment Summit at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Manila with the theme “Unraveling the New Philippines: Heightened Optimism. Surging Investment.”

“The new Philippines is unravelling and continuing exciting growth stories. The economy grew by 6.8% in 2016 and posted the fastest growth in Asia last year. The main economic drivers of growth especially in the final quarter of 2016 were manufacturing, trade, real estate, renting, and business activities and that brings the Philippines as one of the highest recording country registering 60 quarters of uninterrupted growth for the Philippines. We are enjoying a strong vibrant community because of this strong domestic consumption that is sustained by our friends in the BPO industry, our 11million Filipinos abroad who continue to remit money to the country, and the increasing purchasing power of the middle class,” said Amb. Jose E.B. Antonio, Chairman of Century Properties Group, and Chairman of the Asia Pacific Real Estate Association Philippines Chapter.

The summit highlighted compelling breakthroughs and issues shaping the market, and deliberated by expert discussants represented by policy and key decision-makers from the public and private sectors. This year’s summit gave emphasis on 4 points: Real Estate Investment Trust, Infrastructure Development, Emerging Cities, and Tourism Development.

Among the summit discussants were: Undersecretary Atty. Antonette C. Tionko from the Department of Finance presenting on the Philippine REITs, Undersecretary Dr. Maria Catalina E. Cabral from the Department of Public Works and Highways on Philippine Infrastructure Development, Undersecretary Dr. Adoracion M. Navarro from the National Economic and Development Authority discussing about Philippine Emerging Cities, and Mr. Peter Verwer, CEO of the Asia Pacific Real Estate Association who shared about The State of the Market (Real Estate Industry in the Asia Pacific Region).

Summit proceedings and copies of the presentations are available at http://www.5apreisp.com.

The PHILGBC is one of the industry partners for the 5th Asia Pacific Real Estate Investment Summit Philippines.

WORLDBEX 2017

PASAY CITY, 15 – 19 March 2017 – The Philippine World Building and Construction Exposition or WORLDBEX 2017 was organized by Worldbex Services International. WORLDBEX is a construction exposition happening annually for the local and international building and construction industry with a profile of about 500 exhibitors, and attended by more than 150, 000 visitors per year. This year’s WORLDBEX was successfully conducted side-by-side in three (3) locations, namely: World Trade Center-Manila, Philippine Trade and Training Center, and the SMX Convention Center.

“The PHILGBC welcome initiatives such as Worldbex that allows people to come together and witness the latest market innovations, technologies, products, and services that are instrumental for building sustainable and greener environments for people. Together with programs and campaigns of the PHILGBC such as the Better Places Philippines and the Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE), these initiatives contribute in raising better public awareness, collaborative exchange of ideas and expertise, and professional responsibility among companies, building professionals and individuals as we move forward to creating a world with built environment that support healthier and happier lives for those who occupy them,” said PHILGBC CEO Mr. Christopher de la Cruz.

The PHILGBC is one of the industry partners who supported Worldbex 2017. This year, a total of 26 Associations supported Worldbex: Philippine Wood Producers Association, The Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers of the Philippines, Inc., Society of Philippine Electrotechnical Constructors and Suppliers Inc., United Architects of the Philippines, Architectural Center Club, Inc., Chamber of Real Estate & Builders’ Associations, Inc., Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Inc., Marble Association of the Philippines, Philippine Association of Landscape Architects, Philippine Association of Paint Manufacturers, Philippine Green Building Council, Philippine Hardware Foundation Inc., and Philippine Institute of Architects, among others.

WGBC APN Mid-Year Meeting

Collaborating and complementing one another’s efforts in addressing region-specific challenges and creating opportunities in green building.

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – April 11, 2017 – Leaders of 12 national Green Building Councils in the Asia Pacific Region gathered together in Kuala Lumpur for the biannual meeting of World Green Building Council – Asia Pacific Network (WorldGBC-APN).  The two-day WorldGBC-APN Mid-Year Meeting was hosted by the Malaysia Green Building Confederation (MGBC). The WorldGBC APN Meetings serve as a powerful and collaborative platform for the APN network to exchange knowledge, ideas, solutions, work plans on the green transformation of markets in the region. It is also an opportunity where the green building leaders share the highlights of their councils and discuss the issues they are facing.

WorldGBC and APN Chair, Tai Lee Siang provided an inspiring opening message recalling how the organization evolved from being non-existent to becoming the global leader in green building and the source of knowledge and business strategies on sustainability. Currently there are 76 national GBCs worldwide –  39 Established Members, 11 Emerging Members and 29 Prospective Members.

WorldGBC Global strategy, governance, projects and events were provided by the WorldGBC staff. Among the project shared are: Better Places for People, Building Efficiency Accelerator and Net Zero.

The APN Regional Manager, Joelle Chen lead the discussion on the APN Strategy and workplan. Included in the agenda were regional and local issues such as raising the profile of the APN and capacity building strategies — revenue generation, members engagement and retention program. Some outcomes of the meeting include: development of a series of mini-reports of the Business Case for Green Buildings and the creation of a Regional Leadership Consortium led by the Established GBCs and regional partners.

The year-end APN Meeting will be hosted by the PHILGBC in November during the National Convention which included activities such as: CEO Forum, Green Building Tour, PHILGBC 10th year Gala Dinner, and the Building Green Conference.

The WorldGBC – Asia Pacific Network is composed of 15 national GBCs namely:

Established Members

Green Building Council Australia

Hong Kong Green Building Council

Indian Green Building Council

Japan Sustainable Building Consortium

New Zealand Green Building Council

Malaysia Green Building Confederation

Philippine Green Building Council

Singapore Green Building Council

Taiwan Green Building Council

Emerging Members

Green Building Council Indonesia

Korea Green Building Council

Pakistan Green Building Council

Kazakhstan Green Building Council

Prospective Members

Green Building Council Sri Lanka

Vietnam Green Building Council

NATIONAL CONSULTATION AND WORKSHOP FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF NAMA FOR THE BUILDING SECTOR IN ASIA

QUEZON CITY, April 25-26, 2017 – Government leaders and green building experts gathered for a two (2) day consultation and workshop for the development of the National Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) for the building sector at Sequioa Hotel, Quezon City.  The workshop was conducted to properly address and discuss issues around the data gaps, and to identify the partners from the public and the private sectors that can contribute to the implementation of the NAMAs.

NAMA refers to a set of policies and actions that countries undertake as part of a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Different countries have different nationally appropriate action in accordance with mutual but distinguished responsibilities and respective capabilities.

Led by the United Nations Environment (UNE) in cooperation with the Climate Change Commission (CCC), the consultation workshop aimed to finalize the two (2) NAMA Potential actions namely:

  1. Philippine Energy Efficient Low Cost Housing; and
  2. Uptake of Green Buildings through Green Building Rating Scheme

Ms. Michelle Bosquet of the UNE led the discussion on the 1st NAMA on the Philippine Energy Efficient Low Cost Housing. The proposed actions initially identified include:

  1. Greening Affordable Housing
  2. Sustainable Design Program
  3. Renewable energy
  4. Pilot Programs with LGUs and relevant organizations

Agencies and organizations such as the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, (HLURB), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Housing Authority (NHA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Home Development Mutual Funds (HMDF/Pag-Ibig), Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC), and Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA) were some of the identified responsible parties for the 1st NAMA.

The discussion on the 2nd NAMA on the Uptake of Green Buildings through Green Building Rating System was moderated by Mr. Christopher de la Cruz, Chief Executive Officer of the PHILGBC. Proposed actions under the 2nd NAMA include:

  1. Increasing private sector buy in and engagement
  2. Capacity building –first with government staff within LGUs, then on a national level, followed by raising capacity within industry
  3. Incorporating BERDE into the update of the Green Building Code
  4. Introducing mandatory submission of energy consumption of large commercial & residential buildings
  5. Partnering with local government units (LGUs) to conduct pilot activities

The proposed actions would focus on: Engagement; Capacity Building; Case Studies, and Model Ordinances.

It was emphasized that the promotion of green building must be for the private and the public sectors. There is a need to increase the capacity of local governments, decision makers and professionals in the private sector. Furthermore, there is a need to focus on performance for the minimum standards for buildings.

The NAMA for the building sector was endorsed by the Climate Change Commission. Details of the NAMA is to be finalized by July 2017.

BLUEPRINTS FOR GREEN BUILDING

TAGUIG CITY, March 30, 2017 – Market leaders, property investors, contractors, and real estate experts gathered together in a seminar, “Blueprints for Green Buildings” last March 30, 2017, co-organized by GRESB, Asia-Pacific Real Estate Association (APREA), Quismbing Torres and supported by Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC). The presentations provided attendees with an overview of the tools and insights as well as case studies that may help them improve their real estate portfolio’s sustainability performance.

Ruben Langbroek, Head of GRESB Asia Pacific gave an overview on responsible investing which incorporates environmental, social, and governance factors (ESG), to better manage risks and generate sustainable long term returns.

Elizabeth Opena, Partner at Quisumbing Torres, a member firm of Baker McKenzie International, provided the salient features of the Philippine Green Building Code. In addition, a representative from company presented the 2nd Edition of the Global Sustainable Buildings Index, a report that compares sustainable policies, schemes and practices in 25 countries.

Sylvester Wong, Vice President at AECOM shared on the trends in sustainability.

Two case studies were presented showing sustainability best practices. Ms. Anna Maria Gonzales, Sustainability Manager of Ayala Land, Inc, and a member of the PHILGBC board shared about the Makati Stock Exchange Building, one of the oldest energy efficient buildings built in 1970. The MSE has been an awardee of the Don Emilio Abello Energy Efficient Awards from 2006-2013.

Mr. Raymond Rufino, Co-President of The Net Group (TNG) and Chair of the PHILGBC, shared that their company has partnered with the Aboitiz Power to provide clean energy for all the TNG buildings making them the only developer that uses renewable energy in the country. This action has reduced the organization’s carbon use by 93% which is equivalent to 1.2 million trees. He also shared that investing in waterless urinal and LED lights is a simple green building strategy that has a short payback period of only 1.4 years.

In summary, the seminar emphasized that green building is not about implementing one solution alone. Each aspect of the building needs to be considered to find the solution to lessen its carbon footprint.