British envoy lauds ‘green’ building rating system
A local green building gauge which aims to serve as a benchmark for energy efficient, sustainable design that is also environment-friendly yesterday drew plaudits from British ambassador Stephen Lillie.
In a statement, Lillie congratulated the Philippine Green Building Council for developing Berde or the “Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence” rating system.
Berde is a Filipino-designed rating system which aims to set standards for sustainable design in the midst of rising power costs in the country and a booming construction industry.
The Philippines has one of the highest power costs in Asia.
Lillie said the new rating system “has provided a common language for green building by formulating national standards for sustainable construction that are tailored to (local) conditions.”
“We are delighted to have contributed to the development of Berde through our British experts who shared their knowledge and best practices in using the UK’s Breeam system, which really pioneered green building rating systems,” the envoy said.
Lillie was referring to the United Kingdom’s Buildings Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (Breeam), a green building rating system which also aims to minimize the impact of building construction to the environment.
There are 13 buildings in Manila, Makati and Pampanga undergoing Berde certification, with 100 certified Berde professionals assisting in the task.
Lillie made the statement in a recent courtesy call to PhilGBC chair and president, Arch. Christopher de la Cruz.
Espousing green buildings and sustainable design aim to reduce the strain on energy resources and address the issues of high energy costs, water and air pollution, and solid waste.
De la Cruz explained that an improved resource management leads to waste reduction, less landfills and cleaner water resources.
“Green building is recognized to have the highest potential in significantly reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions with proven and commercially available technologies. Drastically reducing emissions by 30-50 percent is very possible without significantly increasing investment costs,” he added.
It was through the British Embassy’s help and Breeam Director Martin Townsend that valuable inputs on sustainable structures were shared during Berde’s development phase.