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Filipino’s unique ‘Bahay Kubo’ inspires Primavera Residences ‘green design’

AN Italian architect with an eye for endemic Filipino design models like the “bahay kubo” is fast making a name in the local and international real estate and green architecture industry.

Architect Romolo V. Nati, Chairman and CEO of ITALPINAS Euroasian Design and Eco-Development Corporation (ItalPinas), said he sees the humble bahay-kubo as the quintessential sustainable house.

“We try to incorporate the bahay kubo green architecture concept into our designs,” Nati said of his Filipino team of architects.

ItalPinas built the first green medium rise building (MRB) in Mindanao – the Primavera Residences in Cagayan de Oro City.

“The bahay kubo is so beautiful in its simplicity and practicality. It harnesses the wind and the light coming from nature to provide its occupants basic comforts like cool air passing through its perforated walls without harming the environment,” said Nati.

Arch. Nati and his team of Filipino architects at ITALPINAS have been cited internationally for their nature-friendly designs. Their latest project was recognized by the Climate Technology Initiative Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI PFAN), whose funding partners include the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Arch. Nati also received a “Special Energy Award” in the 2011 Design Against the Elements (DAtE) global architectural design competition.

Primavera Residences was cited as one of the “Best Condo Developments in the Philippines” at the 2011 Southeast Asia Property Awards (SEAPA) held in Singapore and granted a recognition certificate as a finalist and as one of the “most promising clean energy investment opportunities” during the Climate Technology Initiative Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI PFAN) Philippine Clean Energy Investment Forum in Manila on June 21, 2010.

Arch. Nati, who took architecture and graduated “summa cum laude” at La Sapienza University in Rome, has worked for numerous architectural and engineering firms in Italy and in the United States.

Primavera Residences is a mixed-use green building comprising two towers with 10 storeys each. Tower A is already completed, while Tower B is currently undergoing construction.

Tower A boasts of eco-friendly design features such as an inner courtyard and a cross-ventilation layout among the units to increase the natural airflow and illumination. Shaded facades reduce direct sun illumination on the windows of each unit in the building.

“Our buildings boast of passive eco-design elements like shades to protect residents from the sun’s direct radiation with a dramatic decrease of temperature inside the units,” added Atty. Jose D. Leviste III, president of ItalPinas.

Atty. Leviste added that Primavera Residences is one of the first buildings in Mindanao which shall be equipped with photovoltaic solar panels. These panels will produce renewable energy while providing additional shade to lessen heat refraction in upper story residential units.

ItalPinas also offers services such as concept development, architectural design, engineering solutions and business planning for new projects, building restoration and town planning.

It has also ventured in renewable energy such as hydro, geothermal and wind through its affiliate company, Constellation Energy Corporation (CEC).