Philippines: Davao mall flaunts example of ‘green’ building

DAVAO CITY—Smarting from criticisms over its tree relocation plan for an expansion project in Baguio City, the country’s biggest mall operator is pulling all the stops in launching what it said was its best example of “green architecture”—a mall that conserves rain water and reduces runoffs.

Debby Go, assistant vice president for SM Premiere in Mindanao, said its first SM premiere mall in Mindanao, which was built in Barangay Lanang here, is an “example of green architecture.”

SM Lanang is equipped with a 550-cubic meter rain catchment system, according to Go.

She said instead of being paved with concrete, the mall’s open parking area uses “grass pavers” to reduce runoff water during heavy rains.

The mall will also use potable water only for its food and kitchen needs and will use recycled water for plants and other maintenance work.

The new mall will house Mindanao’s first I-Max theater which Go said is “the height of 3D experience.”

“With I-Max … you don’t just watch the movie, you are in the movie,” said Noelle Martin, assistant theater manager of the new mall.

Therese Lapena, SM Lanang manager, said of the 273 tenants targeted by the mall, 180 have been awarded their spaces and are to open shop within the year.

A project by SM to expand its mall in Baguio was put on hold after protests greeted plans to relocate dozens of pine trees from what would have become the site of a parking lot to another area near the main mall.

The tree relocation, SM had said, was also necessary since the area where the trees will be relocated has been found to be landslide prone and would benefit greatly from the relocated trees.

A court ruling has led to the indefinite suspension of the expansion project.

Environment officials in Baguio have said they were studying the enforcement of revised laws on tree-cutting or relocation that would require all Baguio residents, including small lot owners, to stop the cutting or relocation of trees to build their houses and adopt designs that would not affect any tree.

SM had tried to earth ball the trees before the court order that set back its expansion project. It had opened up the site to protesters to show there were no trees cut. The visit led to the discovery of trees being earth balled.



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