Archive for August, 2011

More interest on green buildings

The issue of climate change has moved up the global agenda, with increasing awareness of the real estate industry’s significant contribution in reducing the detrimental effects of carbon emissions from the commercial and office sectors.

This was discussed by CB Richard Ellis Philippines in a recent press conference. The conference featured guest speaker Jennivine Kwan, US Green Building Council (USGBC) VP for International Operations and gathered decision makers from the commercial real estate sector, green associates, and LEED accredited professionals in the country. Figures shared by Kwan show that as of October 2010, the total worldwide commercial LEED registered projects has reached 8,579.

LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environment Design is one of the most widely-used green building rating systems. This was developed by the USGBC to benchmark building performance and environmental design. The rating system covers new construction, core & shell, existing buildings, commercial interiors, homes, and neighborhood developments.

To date, there are five LEED certified projects in the Philippines. This includes the Asian Development Bank, Nuvali One Evotech, Shell Shared Services Office, Texas Instruments in both Baguio and Clark.

Twenty-eight projects are now registered for LEED certification. This includes the Zuellig Building, the first LEED Core & Shell pre-certified Gold-level prime office building in the country. It is a 33-story building featuring 55,000 sqm of rentable office space.

This development is exclusively leased out and to be managed by CBRE Philippines, the country’s leading real estate advisory firm


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Rhapsody Residences – Creating lifestyle spaces for residents

Rhapsody Residences

Rhapsody Residences - Creating lifestyle spaces for residents

A happy home is defined by memories made with the family. Recognizing the importance of these moments, DMCI Homes has come up a new development that offers lifestyle spaces to fit such happy memories.


Named Rhapsody Residences, this new address south of Manila promises to promote fun and quality time with the family in a resort-like environment — featuring amenities that one usually finds in tourist destinations far from home.

With more than one hectare of amenities, well landscaped surroundings, and public areas filled with lush greens and water features for a more relaxing ambience, Rhapsody Residences offers a haven for families who wish to take a break from crowded cityscape.

There will be lots of lifestyle spaces that promote time for togetherness: Cabanas, pocket gardens and parks, children’s playground as well as single-loaded corridors and garden atriums that can be found inside the buildings. These features will inspire a holiday ambience in the community as it mimics a vacation lifestyle.

The kiddie pool is sure to be a hit among the younger residents, while the mature crowd will enjoy the lounge pool.

The more active residents can find the lap pool and the jogging paths more to their liking.

The clubhouse, which is designed with trellis for a contemporary Asian look, will also house the Lounge and Bar area. Its function rooms offer spaces for bigger social events and family gatherings. A water station, laundry station, and convenience store will also be situated here.

The project is located in Brgy. Buli in Muntinlupa, and is composed of eight five-story buildings and one 10-story building.

Buildings have central atriums and single loaded corridors, assuring that natural light and air are utilized to full advantage. The home spaces are ideal for a growing family’s various needs. The two-bedroom unit offerings range from 54 to 77 sqm.

Homes will also have their own mail boxes with keys located in a centralized mail area. Parking slots for the units will include a wheel stopper – one set per slot.

Rhapsody Residences is now constructing its first building, Carillon, which will be turned-over by December 2012.

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Without borders

Global real estate has come of age. Solutions to market concerns have become widely accessible through global networks that work swiftly across vast oceans.

Philippine real estate industry players recognize the vital importance of investment information, communication and linkages in bringing solutions that work both locally and internationally. Our global endeavours for the country’s real estate industry take a monumental turn with the strong presence of the National Association of REALTORS ® (NAR) in the Philippines.

Real estate professionals need a trusted global ally – which NAR embodies – to reinforce our steps in conducting our business in a world without borders.

In November 2010, I had the pleasure of meeting NAR President for 2011 Ronald Phipps during the Annual REALTORS® Convention and Expo in New Orleans, where the idea of being an official organization partner was first offered to CREBA. Having been in my eightyear hiatus within semi-retirement, I had to humbly decline, unsure about whether or not the incumbent CREBA leadership would be willing to accept, or at the very least be interested.

As the country’s largest umbrella organization of stakeholders from the allied industries of housing, construction, and real estate development, I was even in doubt CREBA was the right partner given NAR’s membership nature and dominant composition.

As NAR enters a new age after a century in existence, however, it redefined its position to include all kinds of professionals engaged in all aspects of the real estate business and profession.

This gradual shift in practice, already prevalent in Brazil, Japan and other countries, galvanized CREBA’s role as the exclusive steward of the NAR name and programming, with the unique authority to protect the use of the REALTOR® trademark and brand name in the Philippines.

In the presence of His Excellency Vice-President and Housing Czar Jejomar C. Binay in January 27 of this year, the CREBA entered into a long-term bilateral accord with the NAR – the “voice for global real estate” representing over 1.3 million members in the United States as well as in 60 countries across the globe. This confers on CREBA the distinction as the only NAR Cooperating Association in the Philippines.

To implement our side of the partnership, the CREBA-NAR Global Real Estate Council was created. It is led by Evangeline A. Yia as chairman, Domingo D. de Vera as vice-chairman, with Dr. Mary Gaw So, Josephine A. Cortez, Daniel R. dela Cruz, Avelina P. Acuna and Robert Marie C. Sy as members. Julius G. Topacio serves as vice-president for Global Real Estate Alliances.

Barely three months after the official launching of the membership campaign last March 31, International REALTOR® Membership (IRM) and NAR affiliation in the country rose to more than 350, heralding Philippine membership as the biggest in Asia.

CREBA led a series of oath taking rites in Manila, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro City in the presence of the NAR President’s Liaison to the Philippines, Asuncion “Shonee” Henry.

NAR-certified IRMs enjoy exclusive use of the distinctive and globallyrecognized REALTOR® trademark and logo, access to the largest online real estate library in the world, a searchable international brokers directory and other tools proven to leverage real estate professionals in international business, among other membership benefits.

Real estate practitioners play a vital role in the social, political, economic development and progress of their respective countries. The NAR-CREBA pact strongly conveys absolute and esteemed commitment to make Philippine practitioners globally competitive in the international real estate community.

NAR views land as a most vital resource. Its “wise utilization and widely allocated ownership will determine the survival and growth of free institutions and of civilizations.”

REALTORS® affirm therefore that the interests of a nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership.

Peaceful and prosperous times or otherwise, real estate activities always provide a safe enclave for investments. If we are to keep investors’ confidence, we must finally get through the walls that divide the sub-sectors of the industry, bury the past and look forward to a future for Philippine real estate that is brimming with potential, speak and act promptly – but in unison.

The NAR concept of alliance and partnership makes all of us live in anticipation that the local industry can move beyond its boundaries and carve a niche in the global community.

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