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Net Lima: Using sustainability as an edge

MANILA, Philippines - Leading boutique IT office developer, The Net Group, is set to launch in the Bonifacio Global City business district a new office complex which will represent “the next generation of iconic and ecologically responsive buildings,” according to Charlie Rufino, president of the firm.

In line with the pioneering spirit for which it has become known, The Net Group selected Miami-based, multi-awarded “green” architect Chad Oppenheim to design and masterplan The Net Metropolis, 5th Ave. complex. Globally recognized for socially and environmentally conscious architecture, Oppenheim is the recipient of over 30 American Institute of Architects awards.

The first building to be completed on the site at the end of 2011 will be Net Lima, the sixth in a series of intelligent office buildings in the Bonifacio Global City owned by the group, which remains the biggest office developer in the area (with 54.5 percent of the gross leasable office area).  Net Lima will not only be sustainable but will also be visually dramatic in keeping with its positioning at the top of the office market as a Center suitable for both multinational corporate headquarters and worldwide support services.

Striking diagonal aluminum bands give the building a leading edge look. “The bands are actually made of perforated aluminum that double as sunshades,” according to Raymond Rufino, executive vice-president of The Net Group. “They catch the heat and combined with a high-performance glass curtain wall, will significantly reduce solar heat gain while optimizing natural light.”

Sheila Lobien, director of Jones Lang LaSalle Leechiu (JLLL), sole leasing agent of Net Lima, observes that Net Lima will be among the most advanced green buildings the country has seen. “Green buildings benefit the environment and at the same time provide savings in terms of energy and water usage to the occupants. They mean more pleasant, employee-friendly surroundings that can reduce both tardiness and absenteeism while improving retention,” she says.

In fact, Net Lima is a pilot project for the newly launched BERDE (Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence) rating system, the Philippines’ counterpart to the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating of the US. The LEED green building certification system is a globally-accepted, third-party rating program for the design, construction and operation of sustainable buildings. But scholars observe that LEED does not really apply to the country’s tropical weather, its laws, and other realities, an observation that gave rise to BERDE from the Philippine Green Building Council.

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The efficiency of the floor plates of the Net buildings were unparalleled and allowed multinationals in the IT and knowledge industries to maximize their spaces.

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