It’s not just the cost but the guarantee of savings on electricity and major repairs that attract buyers to the houses Emma Marcha Imperial builds. The group chair and president of Imperial Homes Corporation (IHC) had a vision to provide affordable and sustainable homes using two technologies borrowed from Denmark. Applying both (and more) to Via Verde, IHC’s development in Sto Tomas, Batangas earned for her house model the distinction of being the first recipient of the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) Certificate. The coveted award for meeting the global standards for green buildings is given by the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group. The development’s major source of financing, Development Bank of the Philippines, also won the Outstanding Sustainable Project Financing Award from Germany’s Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Awards and Certification.
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Via Verde is the first net-metered solar-powered community in the country. As such, the homes can generate electricity not only for their own consumption but sell any excess generation to the distribution grid, transforming the consumers into “prosumers”, as the government’s energy commission calls them.
Solar is generally perceived as an expensive technology for affordable housing, but Imperial has always believed that sustainability is the wave of the future. “I have been going regularly to Denmark since 2005 and I marvelled at how almost all the houses there were powered by solar. Why could we not do the same in the Philippines, I asked myself, when Denmark only gets the sun a few months in a year,” she says.
The forward-thinking developer also came across ultra-high-performance concrete panels that provide lifetime resilience to earthquake, fire, typhoon and moulds. Manufactured by Connovate Denmark, the panels are already being produced here by Connovate Philippines, which secured an exclusive production licensing agreement with the Danish company. Its three factories have an average yield of 110 houses per month.
My dream is for my company to go on and on, managed and owned by my employees— Emma Marcha Imperial