Cebu Exchange: Cebu City’s Cebu Exchange Leads Sustainable Office Race

Patrick Chambers
3 min read

Cebu Exchange, located in Cebu City’s IT Park, is Metro Cebu’s tallest office building and the Philippines’ largest single-building office development. Construction began in 2018 and development should be finished by the end of this year. The 39-story building is divided into three sections: floors nine to fifteen will be for business process outsourcing firms; sixteen to twenty nine will be for large corporations; thirty to thirty nine will be for the headquarters of companies and smaller corporate offices. 


Indeed, real estate developer Arthaland is leading the project and Leo Po, their executive vice president commented, “The Cebu Exchange is equivalent to three office buildings combined. When completed, it will have more than 12,000 people working in it, which is a massive number of people. That’s why we’re calling it our biggest and our best project to date.” Cebu Exchange has already become a premier business address and a key element of Cebu City’s skyline. 


The development has already garnered a number of accolades. In December 2020, the office tower gained a significant victory on the sustainability front: it was pre-certified under the International WELL Building Institute’s renowned WELL Building Standard™. This certification renders the development the largest certified one in the Philippines and the first outside Metro Manila. 


The WELL Building Standard™ is arguably the world’s most prominent standard for sustainable buildings and interior spaces. It was created by collating the latest learnings in the fields of the environment, human health and human behaviour, and how they impact the most groundbreaking practices in building construction, management and design.

The Cebu Exchange. Image: Arthaland


Cebu Exchange has gained this prestigious certification for a number of reasons. First, there are many green spaces, including landscaped gardens and a potager garden, so that residents will have access to food grown on-site. Non-toxic building materials reduce associated health risks whilst the building’s air filtration system provides a steady flow of fresh outdoor air and reduces operating costs, a boon for businesses who chose Cebu Exchange for their new office space. Metro Cebu still sources roughly 40% of its power from coal-powered facilities so there is a particular need for sustainable energy solutions. The Exchange will also take advantage of contactless plumbing fixtures which lower disease transmission from high-touch surfaces along with producing savings on water costs. Lastly, extensive shower facilities and bicycle racks promote green ways of commuting to the office. All these elements have led to Cebu Exchange achieving this premier sustainability certification. It is worth noting that the Exchange has been awarded a Pre-Certified Gold in the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®). It received five stars, the highest number possible, in the Philippine Green Building Council’s Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE.) 


These are an impressive array of accolades. Leo Po added, “This building is a testament to sustainability. We are the only developer that embarks on dual certification with the USGBC and PhilGBC. This shows that we think global but act local. We are bringing a world-class building to this wonderful city.” 


Cebu Exchange and its sustainability mission tap into a wider trend: Cebu City’s progression into Philippines’ foremost modern city. Digital transformation in the region is accelerating at a rapid pace and Cebu City’s authorities want it to remain competitive and attractive to businesses and investors long into the future. Supporting innovation and the startup ecosystem, by promoting technology-led buildings and enterprises, are key to this journey. Cebu Exchange both represents a promising move for office sustainability and a bright future for Cebu City as a technology and business hub. 


The Cebu Exchange. Image: Arthaland

Leave a Comment
Recent Articles

Sign up to receive the Propeterra's newsletter and exclusive property news and updates. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe links in our emails.



posts by tag

See all

Market Cover_Emerging Markets-1


Market Cover_Frontier Markets-1


Market Cover_Special Situations-1-1


Market Cover_Developed Markets-1


Recent Articles

3 minutes read

Mongolia’s Active Diplomacy in a Post-COP World

In November, Mongolia celebrated sixty years as part of the United Nations (UN). For many countries, this means little, as such milestones, by definition, come and pass on a regular basis. It assumes greater importance for Mongolia, though, given the particular geopolitical framework it has to work with. By dint of geography, this vast country has an unusual position. In a strategically important location between Russia and China, it is relevant to not only its own prosperity but also the broader world. Since independence, Mongolia has tried to maintain constructive relations with those it shares borders, but also to project beyond North Asia. Its successful third neighbour policy, takes in partners from South Korea to Japan, India to the United States.


4 minutes read

Investing in Good or a Good Investment?

How can we judge the environmental impact of property development?
‘Sustainable’, ‘green’, ‘eco-friendly’, ‘ethical’: too frequently seen as - and
used as - zeitgeisty buzzwords to allay any discomfort investors may feel
over looking for the next most profitable venture. But anyone with even
half an eye on the news and weather reports can see that environmental
sustainability can not be merely an optional consideration when planning
developments or deciding where to invest – especially when it comes to
real estate, given that almost 40% of carbon emissions are from the built
environment. But in a world with such interconnected systems and
ecologies, how can we predict impacts that may be surprising and far

AidData, a research lab at the College of William and Mary, Virginia, has
been developing the technology and resources to do just that. Their team
includes economists, political scientists, geographers, developers,
program evaluators, policy analysts, and communications professionals,
and they work with 21 different countries in Asia, Latin America and
Africa, using data and hard evidence to improve policy and development
outcomes, helping policymakers to move towards the UN’s 17 Sustainable
Development Goals.

Using satellite, household survey, economic, health, and other spatial
data, along with machine learning analysis and super-accurate data on
geographical boundaries, AidData have created various tools to analyse
the impacts of various development programs, and to predict whether
similar programs would work in other locations. Their Geospatial Impact
Evaluation methods enable fast and rigorous analysis of outcomes for
localised development projects, replicating the standards of a randomised
controlled trial. Development agencies and governments are able to very
quickly discover whether some certain infrastructure project, for example
irrigation systems or village road improvement, had the desired effect on
outcomes like infant mortality, poverty, or deforestation. The highly
localised and granular data can also show whether outcomes are uneven
from region to region, allowing more targeted development in future.
Is there a way we can apply the same rigorous impact-analysis to our
small-scale investments that AidData is enabling international
development agencies and world governments to apply to their
investment in aid, infrastructure, health, and other initiatives?

Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance are becoming ever
more important criteria when analysing an investment’s risks and
opportunities. In many emerging markets such as Malaysia and Indonesia,
the Islamic finance sector is growing more and more influential too, with
its strong alignment to ESG principles. Propeterra is looking at ways to
adapt the Geospatial Impact Evaluation methods created by AidData and apply them to affordable and social housing projects in emerging and

Social Impact

4 minutes read

Addressing the Global Affordable Housing Shortfall


Housing Crisis