Ms. Primavera 2013 Tia Alde inside one of the units at Primavera Residences, an internationally awarded green building in Cagayan de Oro
Although cities are only 2% of the entire world’s land area, most of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming are from these urban concentrations. But of course, it would be this scenario because after all, the industries are in the cities, you would say. But there’s more to that.
Lured by the promise of urban economic growth, migration to the cities from the rural areas is increasing. By 2030, it is estimated that more than half of the world’s population will be living in this small space.
As a result of this, there is a large boost to real estate development. From the horizontal expanses of countryside lawns, people are living in now vertical buildings that try to put in as many persons as possible in as little ground space as possible. Many of these structures, unfortunately, were built just for the convenience of the occupants – not mindful of the environment they were built on. As a consequence, buildings located in hot areas compensate for the heat with several air conditioners. Buildings in perpetual darkness compensate with electric lights. So here are your great greenhouse gases emitters. And that’s on top of the industrial activities.
What can be done about this?
Well, there is the rise of green architecture in the Philippines, for one. As the need for eco-friendly architecture in the country is identified, design companies have started to look at the prospect of sustainable real estate development. What is sustainable? It is something both economical and will be able to weather the years.
In the first eco-friendly building in Mindanao built by ItalPinas, the designers made sure that the buildings were in harmony with the environment they were built in. Ventilation relied on the natural flow of air – air tunnels and a hollow center allow for a breezy interior, giving its residents the option not to use air conditioners.
The same designers also are envisioning to create an urban space that not only harmonizes with nature but actually copy the design of nature pretty much like how inventors had modeled the plane after the bird. Structures will be designed so that they will not be resisting the dynamisms of nature but will be able to adapt to the forces that would attempt to batter them.
While the buildings might not be as grandiose as those developments patterned after Italian villas or French palaces, what these buildings promise is their reliable performance.
And it is actually what urban centers need – buildings that will weather the thick and thin just like the determination of their occupants.