Green buildings offer widespread benefits to building occupants and to society in general. They generally include higher air quality, plenty of natural light, access to views and noise control, making these buildings better places to work or live. There is a misconception that building in an environmentally friendly way means assuming higher costs to protect the environment. These characteristics were explained to Rappler by architect Emelito Punsalan, of the Philippine Green Building Initiative.
In the case of property developers, a green building will appeal to tenants who share those values. Using renewable energy, such as solar, wind or biomass energy, to meet energy requirements can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of green buildings. However, savings in operating costs due to reduced energy and water consumption can help Filipinos become interested in the idea of building in an environmentally friendly way. The new building recycles rainwater, uses photovoltaic panels, makes the most of natural lighting and has a one-hectare green roof containing millions of plants native to California.
Green building is a broad topic and there are many design features available to building owners. The main considerations taken into account when designing a green building are the design and development of the lot, the efficiency of natural resources, indoor environmental quality, and the overall impact of the building on the environment. However, building in an environmentally friendly way is a proven way to save energy and water and, at the same time, reduce the environmental impact of cities. Due to the high investment cost of green buildings, it is not yet possible to establish standards that apply to all types of buildings.