Written By: Vaughn Geuseppe Alviar
Your preferred community developer makes it easy for the ordinary Filipino to invest in a sustainable home. CitiHomes Builder and Development, Inc. made that clear in launching last week Liora Homes Naic, a sustainable community of 3,345 affordable yet avant-garde homes.
As the company gathered hundreds for a festive outdoor event on the site of its newest project in up-and-coming Naic, Cavite, MyCitiHomes unveiled its model houses fitted with solutions nodding to a green, resilient and bright future.
It shatters the myth that “Going Green” is a path reserved for the wealthy, with a commitment to deliver to hardworking Filipino families home-ownership that is not only fulfilling, but one that equips them for a stylish and responsible lifestyle.
The pandemic may have caused a long wait among stakeholders and watchers of MyCitiHomes but company Executive Vice President John Philip Wang declared, with a smile: “Now, here it is.”
He pointed to a chic model cluster comprised of four model Amora homes—each at a generous 44 sqm floor area, with inner lots sized at 50 sqm, and end lots at 75 sqm.
The next generation home
The façade of the model unit Amora already merits oohs and aahs but, Wang explained, the visual cues represent elements that are much more significant and relevant for its homebuyers.
Each home at Liora Homes Naic shall be equipped with a 1.64kWp roof-mounted solar panel system, a 700-liter rainwater harvest tank and 500-liter freshwater reservoir tank at the rear, which can translate to savings of up to 30 and 35 percent in electricity and water bills, respectively. The use of lumber is kept to a minimum, thanks to anti-termite and fire retardant stair treads by Conwood. The project will also use Cemex Philippines’ new Vertua Type 1T cement, which produces 40 percent less carbon emissions.
Once fully developed, Liora aims to significantly and positively impact the environment. The solar panels by SolarNRG will generate nearly 6,000 megawatt-hours annually, equivalent to 2.1 million kilograms less coal burned for power per year, or 4,225 tons of carbon emissions avoided in the same period. The tanks by Weida can harvest over 200,000 cubic meters of rainwater—enough to fill some 80 Olympic-sized pools—yearly. This harvested rainwater directly also helps in flood mitigation, Wang added.
A model of firsts
With Liora Homes Naic, MyCitiHomes is set to continue its string of achieving more firsts.
“We asked our team and our partners at SolarNRG to look for similar [projects], but we could not find anything,” said Wang. “Thus, upon completion, Liora Homes Naic’s 5.49 megawatt-peak (MWp) capacity will make it the biggest residential rooftop solar farm not just in the Philippines, but in Southeast Asia.”
With its rainwater harvest tanks, Liora will also be the biggest residential rainwater harvesting facility in the country.
Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC) attended the event to announce another first for MyCitiHomes. Months earlier, the organization responsible for the Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE) certification approached MyCitiHomes as one of four “forward-thinking developers” to design a new rating scheme for horizontal developments under BERDE Districts.
“MyCitiHomes, through Liora Homes Naic, has gathered three stars. Liora is the first of the communities to undergo certification and is the first green building-certified district in the country. In your development bracket, Liora is also the first project to get certified under BERDE,” said PHILGBC CEO Christopher De la Cruz.
A premium touch, built from the heart
Elevating the living experience for residents, Liora Homes will be the first residential development in Naic to provide an airconditioned clubhouse. Beyond that, the premium touch, unprecedented in the affordable market, can be gleaned in the amenities—nearly 3.5 km of dedicated bike lanes, corner gardens, and community gardening plots for its homeowners.
Liora will use 4-chamber septic tanks, also by Weida, to manage sewage. The entire village’s streetlights will be solar-powered—translating into savings of more than P1 million in electricity bills yearly for the homeowners’ association.
Model Amora is designed for maximum durability, with a column-and-beam superstructure augmented by load-bearing hollow blocks. For security, all rear service doors are made of steel, and both main and service doors feature double deadbolts.
Creature comforts abound as well, with astrofoil insulation reducing ambient temperatures indoors, window grills to protect against theft, and screens on both windows and doors keeping unwanted insects out of the house.
Moving forward, together
Top executives from state agencies as well as the private sector provided strong support for Liora Homes Naic.
Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Agnes Vicente Torres-Devanadera, noting the cost efficiency of the homes here, said: “Where will the savings of each household go? Households can use that to buy more nutritious food, needs like medicine or to start small business activities.”
“This project makes me very happy,” added Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario. “I wish that all developers would do these kinds of projects, but being first makes you distinct, so I salute [MyCitiHomes].”
For her part, MyCitiHomes President Rosie Tsai, extended her gratitude to all the guests who expressed support for their project: “With the government’s support and collaborative work, MyCitiHomes is committed to building more sustainable housing projects. It is our hope that more horizontal developers will adopt measures to counteract climate change for the sake of future generations.”
“We stand at the doorstep of making history for our country through this project. Let us work together to bring benefit to as many people as possible. We’ve only just begun,” Tsai concluded.