Built by Filipinos, for Filipinos

TOPPING off ceremony with DATEM, JACMI and AIDEA officials.

As office buildings continue to rise in the central business districts, Menarco Tower stands tall and proud above everything else if only because it was conceptualized, designed, constructed and managed by world-class Filipino companies. What makes this outstanding is that the project is both LEED Gold and WELL Certified™ Gold — one of the first in Southeast Asia.

AIDEA Philippines Inc., Jose Aliling Construction Management Inc. (JACMI), DATEM Inc., C|S Design Consultancy, Inc., and Arcadis Philippines all worked on the vision of Menarco Tower founder Carmen Jimenez-Ong: to build an office tower that puts the wellness of its tenants first. The idea is to provide office workers with an environment that is safe, convenient, and healthful to induce productivity. It is a concept that shows Jimenez-Ong’s commitment to set a new standard of excellence among Philippine office towers of the future.

“Carmen genuinely cares about the well-being of all building tenants, resulting in the Menarco Tower becoming the first WELL Certified™ Gold structure in the country. The desire to advance health and well-being of occupants in the building is reflective of her values as a person and introduces this new concept to the local building industry,” says AIDEA president and CEO Abelardo Tolentino, Jr.

“Integrity should never be compromised so that the project is completed in accordance with the agreed specifications and standards, within budget, and on time,” adds JACMI president and CEO, Jose Ramon Aliling.

Building features like energy efficiency and waste management has led many companies in the Philippines to be LEED Gold. Menarco Tower went the distance by infusing elements that are not found in ordinary offices in the Philippines. The building’s water filtration system, for example, makes tap water inside tenants’ offices drinkable. Its indoor air quality is comparable to that of international hospitals because of the high efficiency air filters being used to prevent particulate matter such as dust and smoke and other pollutants from entering occupied spaces.

MENARCO Tower attains the country’s first WELL Certified™ Gold status.

“The design of buildings, particularly of offices, should go beyond climate and local culture aspects to include considerations related to the environment and occupant wellness — reducing the building’s carbon footprint throughout its lifetime, at the same time making sure the built environment has elements that boost productivity and foster an engaged workforce,” says Katherine Resurreccion, environmental sustainability senior team leader of Arcadis Philippines.

Another reason that makes Menarco Tower special is its intention to pay tribute to contemporary Filipino talent, having it designed as a vertical museum where Filipino works of art are installed in every floor for everyone to enjoy.

Aside from location and climate, Menarco Tower also pays attention to the habits, practices and regular routine of Filipino employees. According to DATEM’s Corporate Communications manager Michelle Cotoner, “A building in the Philippines should maintain thermal comfort while maximizing daylight and presenting stimulating views. Accessibility to public transportation and proximity to modern conveniences such as restaurants, healthcare facilities and supermarkets also fit the Filipino employee’s profile.”

Considering the country’s climate, culture and the work habits of Filipinos, Menarco Tower proves to be the right fit for the hardworking Filipino. The entire Filipino team behind the project pushed boundaries to show how an office building in the Philippines should be designed and built to be as efficient and hardworking as its occupants.

“Menarco Tower is committed to creating a work environment that considers both exterior and interior spaces for the well-being of Filipinos. It shows the company’s belief that as a culture and a people, we deserve the very best there is to offer,” the managing director of C|S Design, Anna Sy-Lawrence, said. “The fact that it was an all-Filipino effort made the completion of this project all the more meaningful.”

AN environment that is safe and conducive to productivity.

One of the tenants, Pilates instructor Katrina Santos-Mercado, attests to feeling rejuvenated each time she enters Menarco Tower. “I work from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and teach eight clients without feeling tired. I’m more productive now than when I’m someplace else,” Santos-Mercado said. “I see the WELL Certified™ Gold plaque in the lobby, and was told that it’s proof that the building really makes the working environment different,” she added.

Menarco Tower, the first project of Menarco Development Corp., may be the brainchild of Carmen Jimenez-Ong, but the inspiration springs from her father Menardo R. Jimenez Sr.

The patriarch’s discipline, hard work, dedication and love for the arts — traits that Filipinos are generally known for — are all part of the foundation that holds the 32-storey structure high above prevailing standards.

This article is from The Daily Tribune.

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