BRIEF DESCRIPTION AND BACKGROUND OF THE PROJECT
Eco-design is an approach to designing products with special consideration for their environmental impacts during the whole life cycle. The intention of eco-design is to “eliminate negative environmental impact completely during skillful, sensitive design.”
Eco-design is an important management tool for industry to ensure that products and services are environmentally sound. The APO has been promoting the importance of Green Productivity (GP) since the mid-1990’s through related projects, including its flagship project, the Eco-Products International Fair (EPIF) since 2004. Eco-design consists of elements of GP, focusing on cost, impact and the performance of products. In applying eco-design, enterprises/organizations will also be able to enhance competitiveness in the ever-growing global market for eco-friendly products. Thus, it is important for relevant stakeholders from member countries to acquaint themselves with the latest trends in eco-design as well as the environmental aspects to ensure that their business remain competitive globally.
The objective of the workshop is to discuss eco-design, product life cycle issues and recent initiatives in the field of eco-design in the region; identify solutions allowing SME’s to understand and adopt eco-design and develop action plans for stakeholders to promote and institutionalize the concept of eco-design in the region.
OBJECTIVES FOR PARTICIPATION
As a green architect, I am aware of the extent and complexity of today’s building projects and development. It is important to know the impact that building materials have on the environment. From the superstructure of the building to the interior finishes furnishings and equipment of buildings – all of these elements must be considered in the total design of a green project.
I am the Initiator and Vice President of the Philippine Green Building Initiative (PGBI), a green building rating system. We have started developing the rating system and evaluating materials that go into making a project – specifically a GREEN PROJECT.
I participated in the Workshop on Eco-Design, because I wanted to gain more information on materials to eliminate their negative environmental impact through skilful and sensitive design so that I can share this with my colleagues in the PGBI
PROFILE OF PARTICIPANTS
There were 22 participants from several countries like, the Republic of China, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The Philippines had two participants. Mr. Florante T. Escalante and I. Mr. Florante is from the furniture industry, Chemrez Technologies Inc., Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines. He is the Marketing Director.
SITE VISITS AND HIGHLIGHTS
There were 3 site visits. The first was the corporate headquarters and manufacturing facilities of Cheng Loong Corp., a leading paper company in Taiwan. A brief presentation was made in the office then a tour of the plant showing the high-tech facilities of the company and how they make paper and cardboard panels for various industries.
The second site visit was to Pegatron Corp., a design and manufacturing service company that specializes in very innovative design concepts for a variety of companies like Coca-Cola, Ipod, etc.
The third site visit was to the National Library, a building that utilized many green features such as solar panels that provide 10 to 15% of its energy needs, a green roof, natural and sustainable building materials, etc.
The Country Paper Presentations was facilitated by Professor Fumikazu Masuda from the Tokyo Zokei University. Most of the presentations were made with PowerPoint and were delivered in about 15 to 20 minutes.
The presentation of India featured the country’s efforts to promote and improve the market for many of its indigenous products like hemp, wool, organic cotton, soy silk, corn fibre, peace silk, bamboo, etc.
The Indonesian presentation was about how eco-design can be applied to improve the design and working conditions in a particular showroom and dealer outlet of motorcycles.
Iran presented first, the various activities done by industries to utilizing clean energy and second, eco-design with emphasis on green buildings.
Korea showed how the same principles can be applied in many of its building industries in collaboration with the national government.
Malaysia’s presentation focused on the government efforts to improve the level of awareness among its citizens with emphasis on life cycle and eco labeling programs.
Thailand made a group presentation regarding the leading business conglomerate in the country and in ASEAN and how it operates its business while sustaining the development of communities where it operates.
The presentation from Taiwan focused on the emerging industries, intelligent industries and focused service industries. Another presentation dealt with products, packaging, and green buildings. Another Taiwan presentation was about the institutional framework in the country.
Vietnam presented an overview of the industry in the country plus some green initiatives in the building industry.
The Philippines made a joint presentation with Mr. Escalante doing the first part which included an overview of the eco-design industry in the country with emphasis on the furniture industry. My presentation consisted of a brief introduction on the headways done by the eco-design industry. I also discussed very briefly what the architects are doing to develop The Phil. Green Building Initiative (PGBI), a green building rating system led by several government-accredited professional organizations.
OUTCOMES AND EVALUATION
Through my participation in the Eco-Design Workshop, I was given an in-depth analysis of how products and materials are evaluated. It also highlighted the importance of a close collaboration with the government particularly in eco labeling and life cycle programs.
The workshop was an exhaustive but exciting learning experience due to the intensive discussions among the participants and the experts. The varied disciplines and backgrounds of the participants also helped to make the workshop practical and relevant to many of the participants’ fields of interest.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND ACTION STEPS
The Philippine Government and our organization the United Architects of the Philippines, should have a system whereby updates are sent to allow a continuous flow of information related to eco-design. The architects can very well benefit from this interchange of ideas and information not only from the workshop but also from regular updates on the latest developments in the field. We in turn can help disseminate this among our members as part of our advocacy to protect the environment.
ARCH. AMADO DE JESUS, JR.
Green Architecture Movement
United Architects of the Philippines