Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - With 2012 just one more day away, perhaps, it's time to raise our champagne glasses and offer a toast to all the wonderful new structures as well as residential developments we will be anticipating in the coming months.
These are no ordinary projects as they are set to become iconic if not meaningful for a country that seeks solutions to sustainability challenges as well as international acclamation.
While there are several grand projects that will see completion or turnover in 2012, these four are perhaps worthy of our attention.
1 Philippines' most eco-responsible high-rise building. The bamboo-and-flowing-water-inspired Zuellig building located at the corner of Makati Avenue and Paseo de Roxas in Makati City is scheduled to be completed in 2011.
Within this 33-storey building lie several innovative technologies that enabled it to become the country's first to be precertified as Gold level under the Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design Core and Shell (LEED-CS) program of the United States Green Building Council.
Upon completion, the Zuellig building is even aiming for the LEED Platinum certification, the highest level granted by the USGBC.
Compared to other conventional Prime and Grade A buildings in the country, tenants of the Zuellig building are set to enjoy cost savings of at least 15 percent in energy consumption or a minimum of 4.3-million kilowatt hours saved per year.
Productivity of employees working in "green" buildings may increase by up to 18 percent, considering that in the case of Zuellig, 90 percent of the tenants' interior spaces will use natural daylight and that the structure will employ carbon dioxide monitoring system (pump fresh, conditioned air whenever necessary) that could ensure occupants' health and safety.
As a result, tenants are set to gain from a boost in their image and branding, which may even contribute to stronger business in the long run.
2 The country's tallest building. Towering near the intersection of Makati Avenue and Kalayaan Avenue is the newly crowned tallest building in the Philippines.
Launched in 2007, The Gramercy Residences at Century City rises 73 stories or 302 meters beating the previous title holder, the 52-storey- and 259-meter Philippine Bank of Communications Tower on Ayala Avenue.
The Gramercy Residences at Century City, which is the first residential tower to rise at the 3.4-hectare mixed-use Century City, is set to be completed and turned over to its residents in 2012.
John Victor Antonio, COO of the building's developer, Century Properties, is specially proud of the structure considering that the topping off of Gramercy Residences at Century City early in January 2011 coincided with the company's 25th anniversary.
Aside from the prestige that the building offers its future residents, Gramercy Residences at Century City will feature three floors of hyper-amenities called the Skypark.
Located 36 stories above the ground and traversing the entire width of the building, the breathtaking Skypark will feature waterfalls, infinity pools, a designer restaurant, health club and more.
3 Philippines' latest international caliber indoor arena. With a full house capacity of 20,000, the SM Mall of Asia Arena is 5,000 more than the current benchmark in sports and concert venues, the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Set to open in May 2012, the SM MOA Arena is set to become the new home of the University Athletics Association of the Philippines and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
The MOA Arena in Pasay City features world-class standards of operations and premium facilities-considering that it even plans to invite teams of the National Basketball Association to hold its games here-including seats that feature cup holders and those that could be retracted.
The MOA Arena also offers 40-room corporate suites that could accommodate 20 persons (each room has its own mini-bar, couches, restroom and viewing area).
It is connected to a 2,000-capacity car park.
4 The country's most exclusive yet affordable enclave. For a minimum of just 2.3 million pesos and with payment terms of up to 48 months, The Grove by Rockwell is perhaps the best offer that emerging professionals, newlyweds and starting families may be able to enjoy as they aspire for the most luxurious and most exclusive life.
Located on E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue (C5) near the corner of Ortigas avenue in Pasig City, The Grove by Rockwell is the first foray in the upper middle-income market of high-end real estate developer Rockwell Land Corp.
Early buyers must be celebrating as Rockwell Land is set to turn over the two of the six 24-storey towers in June 2012. These two towers will feature units made up of a mix of garden units, flats, lofts and Z-lofts.
Designed to bring the Rockwell lifestyle to Ortigas, The Grove by Rockwell is designed for those who demand luxury and comfort.
Seventy-five percent of 5.4 hectare property was devoted to open space and landscaped greenery. Rockwell Land Corp. even partnered with Dallas-based architect Don Wilder and world-class landscape artist Karl Princic to create secluded pocket gardens, winding trails and landscapes that will give its residents the feeling of being far away from the city (despite the fact that the place is just right across shopping mecca, the Tiendesitas.