Singapore: Flower Dome and Cloud Forest in The Gardens by the Bay. Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas via Wikimedia Commons

‘Green Building Act’ approved on second reading by Congress

Anyone who wishes to build should submit a TPP or Tree Planting Plan in addition to the requirements of the building code

  • June 18, 2018

The House of Representatives, in a move to mitigate the effects of climate change and preserve the environment, approved on second reading House Bill 7373 which seeks to require the planting of trees for any construction of residential, commercial industrial and public buildings.

The proposed “Green Building Act,” principally authored by Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, declares that the State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature. Towards this end, the State shall promote the planting of trees to enhance environmental quality, mitigate the effects of climate change, and preserve the environment for present and future generations.

Farming Kindergarten Vo Trong Nghia Vietnam VTN architects
The looping rooftop of the Farming Kindergarten in Biên Hòa, Dong Nai, Vietnam, provides 3000 sqm. of green space. As well as being an open space for children to circulate and encourage activity, vegetables are planted across the entire rooftop, and encourages social interaction when it comes to harvest time. Image courtesy of VTN Architects

The bill mandates all applicants for building permits of residential, commercial, industrial and public development projects to submit a Tree Planting Plan (TPP), in addition to the other requirements imposed by local government units.

Any person, firm or corporation, or department, office, bureau agency or government instrumentality intending to construct, alter, repair, or convert any building or structure, shall be required to set aside and properly maintain areas adequate for plating and maintaining trees and flora in said property.

READ MORE: Plants in architecture improve cities, says Vo Trong Nghia partner

The TPP shall contain the following: total area of the project; indicative lay-out of the area or areas to be planted; number of trees to be planted, taking into account the ratio of at least one tree for every 500 square meters for commercial or industrial projects or one tree for every 250 square meters for housing development projects; species to be planted; and construction and design of said areas for trees and flora, which shall give emphasis to the facade of the structure and all communal areas.

The TPP shall give preference to indigenous species of trees, taking into account the location, climate, and topography of the area.

BAAD Studio’s tree-hugger house. As wind passes freely through the jalousie windows, the rooms in the upper level can get really cold in the evenings, eliminating the need for air-conditioning. Connecting the upper floors on the north side is a metal walkway shaded by two-meter eaves and wood composite fins to protect the rooms from rain, sunlight, and strong winds. Photographed by Ed Simon.

Within 60 days from the effectivity of the Act, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in coordination with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Agriculture (DA), shall issue the necessary implementing rules and regulations to carry out the objectives of this Act.

Aglipay-Villar said that like those of other countries, the country’s carbon emissions dominate the rate by which the Philippines is able to produce and replenish green resources.

READ MORE: These 5 houses exemplify responses to our tropical climate

“The continuous abuse of our forest reserves by big businesses does not help our cause either. With the passage of HB 7373, we are confident that we can effectively reduce the exploitation of our green resources,” said Aglipay-Villar.

The bill is co-authored by Representatives Nancy Catamco, Noel Villanueva, Joseph Stephen Paduano, Pablo Ortega, Maria Vida Bravo, Mark Go, and Gary Alejano.

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