World Architecture Day is celebrated during the first Monday of October each year, in parallel with UN World Habitat Day. This concurrence reminds us that architecture and design can be tools to integrate our built landscapes with the natural environment, and highlights our collective responsibility for building sustainable human habitats. The theme for this year’s World Architecture Day, “Clean environment for a healthy world”, is exemplified in Mandaue City’s green building ordinance.
While sustainability ratings are an optional assessment for most urban centers, Mandaue City has fully adopted the BERDE Rating system since the enactment of its Green Building Ordinance in 2015.
“Mandaue’s Green Building journey started when our search brought us to the Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC), which is an independent, non-profit organization made up of businesses and organizations working in the building and construction industry,” says architect Araceli Barlam of the Mandaue City Environment and Natural Resources Office (MCENRO) in an interview with local newspaper Sunstar.
Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence or BERDE is the green building rating system of the PHILGBC for Filipino buildings, comparable to the more well-known U.S. rating system LEED, or South Korea’s G-SEED. The BERDE’s assessment methods and priorities differ from the LEED and G-SEED in several key aspects. Unlike the U.S. and South Korean climates, the tropical climate in the Philippines dispenses with the need for insulation and heating equipment. Passive cooling and natural ventilation are encouraged in Filipino buildings. These climate and cultural differences must be addressed in green building rating systems, in order to incentivize designs that are efficient and relevant to their physical settings.
Through the support of its constituents, Mandaue City continues to demonstrate how urban planning and architecture can create sustainable, healthy, productive, and beautiful cities.