27 Jan ‘Breathing Life Into Real Estate’: How Menarco’s Well Certification Stood Out During Times of Calamity
Over the years, more commercial buildings have been giving importance to their tenants’ health and wellness. Companies now redefine the measures of a good workplace and are moving to continuously enhance their office space to promote their employees’ overall health and comfort.
Staying true to their vision of putting the welfare of people first, the Menarco Tower is regarded as the ‘healthiest’ building in Southeast Asia. The 32-storey building gives emphasis on the health and wellness of their occupiers and remains to be the only LEED and WELL certified corporate tower in the Philippines and in the whole region and with both certifications at the Gold level.
The WELL Building Standard measures and monitors the health and well-being of its occupants. Buildings are certified based on verified and measurable financial outcomes of its tenants such as employees’ productivity in terms of “presenteeism,” medical costs, and task efficiency, among others.
LEED, on the other hand, focuses on reducing the negative impacts of commercial buildings on the environment.
“We can proudly claim that our indoor air quality is superior—similar to that of an international hospital,” said Carmen Jimenez-Ong, Founder and CEO of Menarco Development Corporation. “It is indeed very timely and needed, especially now after the ashfall from the Taal Volcano eruption.
Entering its second week of unrest, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported that the volcano remains to be on Alert Level 4. Authorities have also been monitoring other hazardous effects of the calamity, specifically the dangers of volcanic ashfall, which had reached Metro Manila the day after the eruption.
Jimenez-Ong shared that the tower’s air filtration system utilizes the MERV 13 filter which has the capacity to block volcanic ash that measures less than 2,000 micrometers in size.
“Our entrance vestibules and air curtains help minimize the dust that clothes, bags, and shoes which have accumulated from outside,” she added. Menarco Tower also has double-glazed unitized wall systems that also keeps pollutants out of the building.
Menarco’s WELL Certification is grounded on seven concepts: Water, Light, Mind, Nourishment, Comfort, Fitness, and Air. These measures ensure their tenants get the best of workplace. All these other facets of a healthy workplace are beneficial for the building’s occupants on a day to day basis, but during times like this, more people realize the importance and advantages of a WELL-certified establishment.
The Menarco Vision
The Jimenez Family, the people behind Menarco Development Corp., has always looked after the public’s best interest, especially for their tenants and the employees working in their building.
“Our family has this desire to support the businesses & those who would be holding office in our tower,” Jimenez-Ong shared.
This philosophy is carried from the building’s design, construction, and day-to-day operations. “The welfare of our people and the benefit of the planet remains at the center of me and my family’s decision making,” Jimenez-Ong said. “Profit, while important, followed.”
A Legacy to Last
The Menarco Tower has been named the Best Green Development at the Philippine Property Awards in 2016. In the same year, the tower was also recognized as the Best Office Development after being named 2015’s Best Office Architectural Design.
More than the accolades received by the building, Jimenez-Ong shares an important lesson she wants to be passed down generations. She believes that their biggest legacy is not measured by trophies and awards but through the impacts of their philosophy.
“This land, this building—this is not mine. I am merely in charge of it for my generation and the next. It was not something that I could take to the grave with me,” she said. “It is a legacy to be left behind — in honor of my parents Menardo and Carolina Jimenez, for whom the building and company are named after.
Being one of the frontrunners of championing the health and wellness of tenants and employees, Jimenez-Ong hopes to inspire other developers to redefine Philippine workspaces.
“I believed that, in creating this humanity-centered space where all our tenants could perform their best work, Menarco was consequently building companies — translating into their profitability & job creation— and ultimately, benefitting our nation,” she said.
“I think you have to come to our building to experience it. You can tell the difference when you go in,” Jimenez-Ong said.“The more you work in Menarco Tower, the healthier you become. It is better inside the tower than anywhere else, in the country and Southeast Asia.”
This article is written by Michael Glindro of KMC Savills.