Mindanao’s first “green building” is being constructed in an uptown residential complex here.

The 10-storey Primavera Condominiums inside the Pueblo de Oro complex will be partly powered by solar energy.

Rodolfo Menes, general manager, said that the Primavera project is an excellent combination of European engineering (Italpinas) and Filipino architecture and ingenuity.

The green architecture is being done by Italian Romolo Valentino Nati and the solar power generators will be designed by Dutch jos Schlagen of Excence Solar Company.

Nati said that aside from the photovoltaic cells that would power the building, the design itself would make energy consumption of the building about 20 percent lower.

He said the building is designed to have increased natural ventilation and minimal direct sunlight exposure by maintaining shadows.

The solar panels to be installed on the building’s 1,200-square meter rooftop will generate at least 150 kilowatts of renewable energy.

Based on the green design of the building, the energy consumption per square meter would be 152.1 kilowatt-hour/ year which is 32 percent below the current average of 244.4kwh/year.

Nati, however, said that while they can make the building green in as far as power consumption is concerned, it can only be truly green if the occupants themselves would live green.

“But as it is, we thought that the use of air conditioning and other cooling systems which can take up to 60 percent of the energy consumption of building, should be reduced,” he said.

Schlangen admitted that compared to ordinary buildings, it may be costlier to construct a solar-powered green building.

Menes, however, was quick to add that in the end it is cheaper for the occupants as they do not have to pay as much money for energy as their consumption is cheaper since they won’t have to pay for the power coming from the solar generator.

He added that the construction cost may be five to seven percent higher compared to that of conventional buildings.

Schlangen said that once finished the solar generator will cost nothing to operate as everything is designed to be automated.

Pueblo de Oro has started selling condominium units at Primavera at prices ranging from P1.1-million to P3-million. Condominium sizes range from 24 square meters to 52 square meters.

article by BenCyrus G. Ellorin/MindaNews

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