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The Philippine Green Building Code

The Philippine Green Building Code, also referred to as the “GB Code,” was launched in June 2015 through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) — a referral code of the National Building Code of the Philippines (P.D. 1096).

In recent years, countries from the Asia-Pacific region started to adopt measures that promote resource management efficiency and site sustainability while minimizing the effects of buildings on human health and the environment by practicing green building design.

The GB Code seeks to improve building performance efficiency by adopting measures that promote resource management efficiency and site sustainability. It also aims to set standards for the use of resources, site selection, planning, design, construction, occupancy, and maintenance, which will minimize the negative impact on human health and the environment.

By implementing the GB Code, greenhouse gas emissions and energy and water consumption can be reduced by at least 20%, while the DPWH commitment is to achieve a 70% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.

Green Building Concept
This practice complements the conventional building design concerns of economy, durability, serviceability, and comfort.

Philippine Green Building Code
The GB Code aims to boost building efficiency by establishing standards for environmental and resource management. It addresses the adverse effects of climate change by promoting responsible practices throughout the building's life cycle, from resource use to construction, use, and maintenance, all without a significant cost increase.

Building Occupancy
The GB Code does not apply to existing buildings of the specified use or occupancy classification constructed before the code's effective date (June 2015). However, when alterations, additions, conversions, and renovations are planned for existing buildings constructed after the GB Code's effective date and reaching the Total Gross Floor Area (TGFA) threshold (shown in the image), the entire building shall be subject to the applicable provisions of the GB Code.

Natural Ventilation
This measure will give building occupants the flexibility and opportunity to use natural ventilation for free cooling and fresh air in regularly occupied spaces. All operable windows shall be provided with safety features for protection against strong winds and water penetration and protection for building occupants, including child safety and security.

Rainwater Harvesting
Rainwater harvesting helps conserve water resources, reduces dependency on traditional water sources, and contributes to environmental sustainability by mitigating stormwater runoff.

Solid Waste Management
The Material Recovery Facility (MRF) shall be fully enclosed and easily accessible from within the building and from the outside for easy collection of waste. Solid waste containers shall be provided for at least four (4) types of waste:  1) Compostable (i.e., biodegradable); 2) Non-recyclable (i.e., to be disposed in the landfill); 3) Recyclable (paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, and wood, among others); and 4) Special waste.

Open Space Utilization
The inclusion of green areas or landscaped areas for indigenous or adaptable species of grass, shrubs, and trees will help provide a more permeable surface for the building development’s open space. This allows the re-charging of a natural groundwater reservoir, controls stormwater surface run-off, cools the building surroundings, and provides indoor to outdoor connectivity for the building occupants.