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Davao builders urge to limit pavements; add more trees and greens

DAVAO CITY, June 29 – Davao builders and designers are encouraged to limit pavements and build greener highways and streets by planting more trees.

Engineer Robert Quinto, president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and industry, Inc. (DCCCII), said Davao City can learn a lot from the real estate development of Makati, Ayala and Paseo de Roxas, which were characterized by endless kilometers of paved roads in the 1980s.

Quinto said the paved roads reflected heat so much that people always preferred to take the taxi even when their destinations were accessible by foot.

“We would take the taxi even if we were just headed to a nearby location to have lunch just to avoid the heat,” he said.

Quinto said Manila’s road and construction designers realized the flaw in such an unfriendly road design that they started planting trees along the roads, put up escalators and built covered walks to connect destinations. The change in construction design changed the people’s way of life, and many of them now walked, reducing traffic in the area.

“Davao designers can learn from the construction trends in these areas and apply the same green principles here,” he said.

Quinto said those who design the city’s roads, parking lots and other establishments should minimize pavements.

He said soil should be allowed to breathe and absorb water, which is impossible when the sidewalks and the parking lots are paved.

He also said designers should take advantage of the invention of paving blocks as they allow water to breathe and produces a healthier, cooler and greener environment for Dabawenyos. These paving blocks come in assorted shapes and designs and can even add attraction to any road.

Majority of Davao City’s sidewalks are paved so heat is generated all over the city, he said.

While he admitted that it is impossible to use paving blocks for most pavements, the designers should at least plant lots of trees and construct covered walks to encourage Dabawenyos to walk.

“We should not disturb the natural terrain of nature but keep it as natural as much as possible,” he said.

Architects should be the agents of change because they are the ones consulted by engineers and project managers.

Quinto said one ideal development in the city which made full use of nature’s beauty and natural attributes is Eden’s Nature Park.

“It used to be barren but developer did not destroy the nature instead they added by planting pine trees,” he added.

He also cited SM Supermalls which, although characterized by wide spans of pavement, interspersed some trees in the parking lot.

Jhaymarts, a leading manufacturer and distributor of pipes in Davao City and nearby areas, decided to go green by introducing recycled polyethylene pipes in the market. The company’s Storm Drain Pipes are primarily recommended for drainage use and not for use as water pipes.

“These recycled pipes are hard but are tougher and more flexible compared to PVCs,” he said.

"Builders traditionally use PVC or polyvinylchloride pipes as well as galvanized irons even for water passages but these are not food grade pipes and prevents water to pass through,” he added.

Quinto said that for water purposes, they use virgin materials for their pipes and not the recycled ones. Tupperware products use food grade plastics and these should be the same materials used for our water pipes.

While Jhaymarts produces the recycled drainage pipes from plastic, they buy the recycled plastic in pellets form from recycling processors. “We use recycled plastic pipes as big as 36 inches for drainage canals,” he said.

Damosa Gateway in Lanang this city is among the first development project to use the recycled plastic pipes for their drainage canal.

To pave the way for smart buildings, Jhaymarts has also introduced the pre-paid water and electricity meters in the market. The pre-paid meters work just like the cellphone cards which you reload at certain periods.

The pre-paid water meter, which is being sold at P4,000 is however more expensive than the normal meter priced at P1,700.

However, Quinto said, this allows you to budget your water consumption for the month or for a certain period. It also makes it easy for households and commercial establishments to detect water leakage.

And since the prepaid water and electricity meters are more expensive since they require the use of software priced at P5,000, it is recommended for use by condominiums or apartments, so the co-owners can share the cost of the software.

“These devices are made in China but use European technology,” he said, Quinto discovered the products during one of his business trips to China.

As far as he knows, he said, Jhaymarts is the only company selling this product all over the Philippines.

The pre-paid water meter is digital but there is a flap which contains the meter which can be read manually. They are in the process of negotiating with Filinvest so that its subdivisions and condominiums can make use of the prepaid water meters. (PNA)

FFC/LAC/lvp

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