CFA Forum Plugs “Green” Building

SEPT 29TH 2008

After tackling such natural environmental issues as water, air, oil, mining and many others, the CFA Environmental Forum Series turned its sights on our man-made environment when it tackled “green building” last August 22nd.

Green building is an industry trend, signifying structures built in an ecological and resource-efficient manner, according to Architect Christopher De La Cruz, Executive Director of the Philippine Green Building Council. The Coffeehouse Forum, titled “Green Home, Green School, Green Office”, was held as usual at the CFA Lagerwey Hall.

Architect De La Cruz said that based on surveys, employees in greener buildings perform better than those in conventional buildings. He also mentioned various environmentally friendly sites such as bicycle parking, green roofs (with plants), indigenous landscaping (indigenous plants), and proper orientation of buildings and spaces (using, for example, light colored blinds and tinting) that contribute to energy-saving.

The architect, who is also a member of Haribon Foundation and Nature Awareness and Conservation Club, noted that we should improve our indoor air quality by using organic compound paints and dust control devices such as carpets. In terms of water conservation, Mr. De La Cruz said that eco-sanitation is important, and we can try flush-free and odor-free urinals operating on minimal amounts of water, or recycled water in watering plants, using double/triple plumbing systems, rainwater harvesting and reed beds.

In saving energy, it is advisable to do an energy audit at the school or office every now and then to monitor electricity expenses. It is also wise to use efficient lights and appliances, and unplugging them when not in use.

In conclusion, Mr. de la Cruz reminded his attentive audience, who were mostly students and members of non-government organizations, of proper waste segregation and disposal.