Cities continue to shape the way we live our lives – from shifting to greener lifestyles choices to reducing overall carbon emissions to help save the planet. The successful shift to greener cityscapes begin with the construction of green buildings, providing smart innovations that work with the environment and promote the wellbeing of the people who use these spaces on a daily basis.
According to a study made by the US Green Building Council, green buildings can reduce carbon emissions by around 40 percent on average, water consumption by around 30 percent, and waste generation by around 70 percent. Beyond the environmental benefits, green buildings also help meet social needs by enhancing spaces, protecting human health, empowering differently-abled members of the community to take active participation, and ensuring access to basic services at reasonable rates.
Economic benefits can be felt as well with green buildings commanding higher rent potentials, encouraging “greenovation,” and promoting cultural and recreational activities without harming the environment.
Committed to making every day living better, SM Prime has taken the lead in incorporating sustainability and resiliency in its designs, making each component work together as a fully integrated city of the future.
“Constructing greener buildings provides holistic solutions not only reducing emissions but also promoting social wellbeing,” said Hans T. Sy, SM Prime Holdings chairman of the Executive Committee. “We see this in our developments which drives us to build greener and even retrofit our existing malls to meet green standards.”
Among SM’s developments, a number boast of receiving LEED Gold certification while others are in the process of certification such as the SM Baguio expansion, SM North EDSA BPO offices, SM Megamall Mega Tower, and SM Retail Corporation, to name a few.
The iconic SM Aura at the Bonifacio Global City is a mixed-use development that incorporates retail, trade halls, and a Grade A office tower. The LEED Gold Certified mall promotes resource efficiency, green mobility, and green landscapes.
⦁ Green mobility. Cycling is encouraged with accessible bicycle storage, cyclists’ shower rooms, and convenient access to safe lanes to public transit.
⦁ Green landscapes. The SM Aura Premier Park covers over 55 percent of the building, uses recycled water, and provides enough room for plants to grow while protecting the building and people from heat.
⦁ Resource efficiency. SM Aura uses 16 percent less than conventional buildings through a high-performance building envelope that reduces solar heat while allowing sufficient sunlight. Through low flow water sensor and metering faucets, it also reduces one-third of its potable water use. Only low emitting materials were used as paint, adhesive sealants, and floor materials.
Known as a lifestyle center, Conrad Manila is LEED Gold Certified. The hotel is designed with a dramatically-formed angular structure that houses a stylish 347-room hotel, spa, and function space; while S Maison is home to a swathe of smaller, more bespoke outlets for brands.
⦁ Luxury means green mobility. Boasting of high-end luxury experience, Conrad Manila remains environmentally friendly by providing preferred parking slots for low emitting fuel-efficient vehicles, car-sharing vehicles, and special parking spaces and facilities for cyclists.
⦁ Eco-friendly materials. Locally manufactured and recycled materials and products were used whenever possible with more than 80 percent of the project’s construction waste recycled. Filtration systems maintain a minimum efficiency rating of 90 percent to eliminate airborne particulates.
⦁ Resource efficiency. Conrad Manila is designed to reduce energy around 12 percent less than American energy standards. Its water heating system recovers heat from the chiller condensers to produce hot water, while its ventilation system recovers the coolness from the exhaust air, returning that into the building. The hotel is outfitted with occupancy sensors, tinted with low emissivity insulated glass to keep heat and noise out.
Going beyond the LEED certification, SM Engineering and Design Development, the mall’s design and construction arm has implemented these sustainable design strategies on the following projects:
SM Baguio brings outdoor and indoor as one space optimizing natural lighting and ventilation with the Sky Garden. It has a green roof system as well as a provision for an underground water reservoir for storage and reuse of rainwater with a capacity of 4,389 cubic meters.
SM Seaside Cebu mall goers can enjoy an extensive green area, center courtyard, and roof garden. Constructed with low glass and utilizes EchoStop for noise management, the building is designed to maximize natural light and ventilation.
SM Lanang Premier showcases lush greens, a roof garden, and green pavers that encourage filtration and allow storm water back to the underground soil. It is equipped with a rain water catchment system and a water reservoir with a 546-cubic meter capacity based on 425mm per hour rainfall intensity. It also has a materials recovery facility which receives, segregates, and prepares recyclable materials for marketing to end-user manufacturers.
SM City Masinag helps communities avoid flood waters through its 15,033 cubic meter water catchment facility. It is designed with green screens to promote vertical plant growth and is constructed with Clerestory windows as a source of natural light.
SM North EDSA is one of the pioneers of the use of solar panels. It is also the first to have the Sky Garden and elevated parks.
SM Mall of Asia is uniquely designed with a seawall to avert any damage from potential storm surges or sea level rise. Built on reclaimed land, it used an excavation method providing a greater degree of protection against liquefaction and seismic events. It is also elevated above the required building levels and is equipped with wave return and drainage channel to prevent flooding due to storm surges and high waves.
SM Marikina sits on 246 stilts and is built 20 meters beyond the compliance for safety zone. At 20.5 meters above natural ground level, it serves as a first responder and a place of refuge for the residents of Marikina during times of calamities.
Today, real estate investors, both for business and personal use, have grown to prefer spaces that support sustainability agendas of the growing population. Pursuing green building standards support the public’s aspiration for more sustainable communities that are designed for environmental and social wellbeing.
SM Prime believes that it is important for developers to work with communities on addressing climate change and achieving shared aspirations – a greener, more sustainable cityscape for all to enjoy.
“Creating a more sustainable way of life requires a sustainable backdrop that supports the shift. At SM Prime, our passion is to create one that is sustainable and resilient for the life we want for today and the future,” Sy said.