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Green and sustainable developments: is CdO ready?

The recent lockdown and Covid-experience made us all more aware about the importance and value of living in a sustainable, green and healthy environment. Having been 'restrained' for a long period of time made us truly appreciate the comfort of open spaces and natural environment. In fact, the spread of viruses and other diseases are drastically reduced where there is natural vegetation, plenty of sunlight, natural ventilation and breathable spaces.

Now more than ever Green Building, passive green design and sustainable development concepts are all key factors in planning our future environments. But what is a Green Building? “Green building is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle from planning to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction.” says the American Environment Protection Agency's website.

The city's development plan (comprehensive land use plan 2019-2027) already envisioned a sustainable way of building new green low density areas, green belts, parks, open spaces, tree parks and tree strips along the main thoroughfares. In Cagayan de Oro there already are some green developments like for example Luxe Hotel in Limketkai that was actually certified as the first LEED Gold (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building in the Philippines in 2013 and 2014. Another LEED certified building is the Pioneer House CdO, the only LEED Platinum Certified Building in the Visayas and Mindanao. Further there is Cepalco's Green Office Building along Mastersons Avenue in Uptown with it's photovoltaic panels and aim to be a 'Net Zero' building.

A 'net zero' building is a building with zero net energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site. And finally, as the only residential green building and EDGE certified development in Cagayan de Oro there is Primavera Residences and Primavera City developed by IDC (Italpinas Development Corporation). Both projects have been awarded by important international recognitions like by the Philippine Green Building Council-Leadership in Green Building Award and the International and South East Asian Property Awards. EDGE is a green building certification system developed by the International Finance Corporation, which is part of the World Bank.

EDGE stands for Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies, and the certification has the goal of reducing the environmental impact of buildings in three areas: direct energy consumption, water consumption, and the energy footprint of construction materials. For example in IDC's both developments passive green design features are the type of exposure of the building to the sun to minimise its impact evaluated during planning phase through a special software, the natural shading features created by various cantilevers, the natural ventilation created through the internal courtyard of the building (called chimney effect), the solar panels on the rooftop powering the common areas of the development. As the environment and our quality of life gets more and more important the focus of of both developers and home-buyers is set to shift to developments that are green in design and architecture, sustainable, eco-friendly and most of all liveable.

With CdO's development plans under way this is a great opportunity to become one of the leading green LGUs in the Philippines that values quality of life and respect for nature. Residents from Primavera Residences are actually some of the best witnesses to the great lifestyle of green condo-living and they are very eager to share their experience on how it really feels like living in a green building.

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