By MIKE BAÑOS, Correspondent
CAGAYAN DE ORO’S biggest real estate development ramped up its “Green Initiative” with the grand launch of Mindanao’s first eco-friendly condominium Tuesday, July 5 at the 360-hectare Pueblo de Oro Township.
“Primavera Residences complements other green efforts in the Pueblo de Oro Township, including the 40-hectare Pueblo Urban Rainforest and the electric shuttles serving Township residents, making Pueblo the benchmark for eco-friendly developments in Cagayan de Oro,” said Pueblo de Oro Vice President-General Manager Rodolfo L. Meñes.
The 40-hectare Pueblo Urban Rainforest will eventually contain 30,000 “wildlings” or endemic tree species purchased from the Mt. Kitanglad National Park in Bukidnon. For every wilding planted in the Pueblo Urban Rainforest, a counterpart wildling would be planted in Mt. Kitanglad as PODC’s contribution to conserving the country’s biodiversity.
Primavera Residences is a 10-storey twin-tower Italian-designed condominium designed by ITA Project, an architectural design firm based in Rome, Italy with a solid reputation for award winning eco-friendly buildings, and developed by ItalPinas (ITPI Euro Design and Eco-Development Corporation), a Filipino-Italian joint venture and sustaining member of the Philippines Green Building Council.
“We used passive elements in designing Primavera such as cross-ventilation, chimney effect, building orientation, an inner green courtyard and terrace, brise soleil (louvers) and extended awnings to maximize natural light and shadow,” said Architect Romolo V. Nati, president and CEO of ItalPinas, whose entry was cited with a “Special Energy Award” in the recent Design Against the Elements (DAtE) global architectural competition. “These design elements combine to complement each other to bring down the temperature in the building that it remains cool even in hot summer months to lessen the need for air conditioning.”
Mr. Nati estimates Primavera’s passive design elements could reduce energy consumption for air conditioning from kWh/mg Year 224.4 to kWh/mg Year 121.1 which translates to approximately 32% less cooling energy consumption or around 20% total energy consumption, directly benefiting condominium residents.
On top of these passive design elements, Mr. Nati said Primavera Residences would also be tapping solar energy on its rooftop with the use of photovoltaic cells that would produce around 150 kilowatts peak renewable energy from its two towers.
When the “Net Metering Law” will be implemented in Mindanao in the next two years in our estimate, the photovoltaic cells will feed electricity to the local distribution utility grid, Mr. Nati said.
“At the end of each billing period, this electricity produced will be deducted from the condominium’s electric bill, further reducing the individual electric bill of each resident,” he said. “While waiting for the Net Metering Law to be approved, we will be using the energy produced from the solar cells to directly power the common and shared areas of Primavera.”
The Primavera Residences’ business plan had previously been cited as one of the most promising clean energy investment opportunities in the Philippines during the 2nd annual Philippines Clean Energy Investor Forum hosted by the Climate Technology Initiative-Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI-PFAN) at the Edsa Shangri-la Hotel in Manila last year.
The forum sought to find a common platform to determine the best investment opportunities in the country’s clean energy sector.
CTI-PFAN noted Primavera Residences business plan had a high degree of social and environmental stewardship, high potential to scale-up, an excellent management teams and cutting edge technology.
“I am happy to know the tenets of sustainable architecture are now being practiced in the provinces as evidenced by the Primavera Residences,” said Illac Angelo Diaz, DAtE organizer, who came to Cagayan de Oro to grace the inauguration. Mr. Diaz, named one of the Ten Outstanding Persons of the World in 2006 by Jaycees International, organized DAtE as a global architectural competition to design shelters for the poorest of the poor at the “Base of the Pyramid”.