A BioRoof for the LLDA Building
LLDA Redefines Green Roofs with Republic Cement
Rapid urbanization in the Philippines has given rise to many challenges as increasing infrastructure developments continue to reduce open spaces and increase energy consumption.
Both the public and private construction sectors have responded by reshaping the cityscape and building structures that are as environmentally responsive as they are beautiful and compact. Now, buildings should not only be sturdy and spacious—they should also be “green”, efficient in energy consumption and adaptive to the changing environment.
One of the first public institutions to rise to the challenge is the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), which unveiled a two-wing, four-storey green building in Quezon City to mark its 48th anniversary. Reflecting the critical mandate of the LLDA to protect the country’s largest freshwater lake, the 5,600-square-meter facility features its own water treatment facility, materials recovery facility, and a rain collection system that can hold 60,000 gallons of water.
The most prominent of the LLDA building’s sustainability features, however, is the country’s first Bio Roof—an enhanced green roof system that mitigates the negative effects of urban land use and is one of the latest pioneering offerings from Republic Cement & Building Materials, Inc., a trusted leader in innovative construction.
Reimagining green roofs
The LLDA green building features a 150-square-meter Bio Roof that helps reduce cooling needs through shading and insulation. The Bio Roof, unlike container gardens where plants are grown in pots, is integrated within the building’s structure. Its vegetative layer protects the waterproofing membrane from climatic extremes, UV exposure and mechanical damage, and significantly increases the life span of the roof.
Engineer Erickson De Guzman, Facilities Manager of LLDA, says that the Bio Roof has also helped them become more efficient, particularly with water conservation. “The aggregates in the Bio Roof hold the water and nutrients for the plants and reduces our watering cycle to only three times a week,” De Guzman says, referring to BioMix, the solution’s topmost layer composed of a special lightweight growing medium that enables stable anchorage of plants’ roots and provides sufficient water-holding capacity.
Bio Roof also has an underlying layer of natural lightweight aggregates called the BioLite™, which promotes healthy plant growth by allowing good drainage and preventing asphyxiation of the roots. This makes the Bio Roof at least 25% lighter than conventional green roofs, minimizing the burden on the building’s structural members and allowing it to be adaptable to gardens of any size and shape.
De Guzman relates that they are further conducting a study on the Bio Roof’s effects on energy consumption, as the LLDA gears to be the first government building in the country to be certified by the Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE).
De Guzman says that the Bio Roof has also now become a focal area in the LLDA. “We have held flag ceremonies there, as well as conferences and other official functions,” he relates, adding that employees often go to the roof to take a breather from work and to relax.
Other neighboring government offices have also taken an interest in the LLDA building’s sustainability features and some even plan to use the LLDA’s roof as a venue for their company events, De Guzman says. He is upbeat that in the future, government offices would adopt the Bio Roof. “We hope to open the building, once it’s fully completed, to school and private tours, to increase public awareness,” he adds.
Republic Cement’s Vice President for Marketing Victor Janolino echoes De Guzman’s sentiments, and sees great potential for the Bio Roof in a tropical country like the Philippines. He says it contributes many benefits to a building’s aspects, including improved cooling, better energy efficiency and water management, and the conversion of idle roofs to green spaces.
“It is yet another reflection of our commitment to build a greener and stronger Republic—a complete construction solution to help address some of the many challenges of urbanization,” Janolino adds.