Many people have become more aware of the importance of sustainability in everyday living during the two years that the world faced the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Environmental awareness has caught on through practices such as shifting to paperless, reducing plastic use and planting more trees. For property developers, taking part in this movement means transitioning into green buildings and developments.
Such is the case for SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SM Prime), a publicly listed subsidiary of SM Investments Corporation (SMIC) that is committed to building innovative and sustainable lifestyle cities. SM Prime is future-proofing its developments to be more responsive and adaptive to community needs and the effects of climate change in line with comprehensive sustainability goals ranging from energy to ecology.
Over the years, SM Prime has continued to elevate its approach to building and development of community spaces. All these green initiatives have been recognized by reputable and well-known organizations such as the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) which awarded Conrad Hotel Manila and SM Aura Premier the Gold certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
“When we build, we build with the community in mind. This is why it is important to integrate sustainability in our developments and operations. We remain committed as an environmentally-conscious and responsible integrated property developer ready to serve the ever-changing needs and aspirations of our communities and stakeholders,” said SM Prime President Jeffrey Lim.
Building green office spaces
SM’s Commercial Property Group is renowned for balancing green design features with operational and practical considerations, enabling more companies and locators to enjoy environmentally sound commercial developments.
The CPG’s flagship properties are its five E-com Centers – all future-forward buildings catering mainly to technological, business process outsourcing, and Fortune 500 companies. All five E-com Centers are located in the MOA Complex. Each building has a proportionate amount of green open spaces and communal areas where workers can socialize and decompress from work.
CPG further promotes sustainable practices with its LEED gold-certified office buildings, solidifying its foothold and commitment to building green offices and commercial developments. These certifications are a testament to SM Prime’s dedication to reducing its contribution to global climate change—all while enhancing the quality of life within its communities.
The Three E-com Center boasts architectural wonders and green features that eventually earned its LEED Gold certification. These include water recycling for landscape and non-potable use. The building is fitted with glass windows that minimizes heat from entering the building, allowing tenants to use less air conditioning. This 15-storey, semi-circular twin-tower office building features function and aesthetic complemented with state-of-the-art facilities. While it was the first office building in the Mall of Asia Complex to receive such an honor, the new FourE-com Center also recently achieved the same certification—designed with its tenants’ needs in mind, improving work-life balance and office culture accordingly.
Both designed by globally renowned firm, Arquitectonica, the Three and Four E-coms are unique amongst business centers. “We designed the E-coms to functionally meet the BPO industry’s need for large, continuous floorplates, but also sculpted them in interesting ways so as to allow views and airflows between the buildings, while also, of course, giving them interesting architectural identities. At the same time, their landscaped podium decks create attractive communal green spaces for the tenants; they are envisaged to be interconnected via landscaped skybridges in the future. The combination of all these factors, architectural design and green spaces, have made the E-coms highly attractive to multinational companies and brands,” said David Zaballero, Arquitectonica Director.
SM Mega Tower
Meanwhile, SM Prime’s tallest skyscraper located along EDSA will also join the company’s growing roster of LEED-certified green buildings. Called Mega Tower, the 50-story office building is future-ready as it provides spaces that respect both its tenants and nature itself.
Strategically located in the busy Ortigas Centre, the 50-storey LEED registered skyscraper is flexibly designed to meet the requirements of both corporate and BPO tenants. Though its design is highly sculptural, each floorplate remains efficiently planned – combining functionality and iconic identity.
“Incorporating sustainability in property development means having the whole life cycle of a building in mind. We invest a tenth of our capital expenditure to ensure that sustainability is integrated into our properties as we carefully plan our developments for our communities, the environment, and future generations ,” SM Prime’s Mr. Lim said.
In close collaboration with the SM Group’s other business units, the CPG’s multi-segment or mixed-use approach maximizes the socio-economic potential of its buildings and developments. As a result, SM’s commercial developments are connected to our malls, residences, and parks and civic spaces. Notably, they are all easily accessible to transport hubs to ensure mobility for pedestrians and the commuting public. This interconnectivity, alongside each property’s green and safety features, reduces the company’s carbon footprint, attracts more tenants and locators, and encourages greater productivity among its workforce.