A green City Hall in Lucena
A four-story “green” Lucena City Hall building will soon rise on the outskirts of the city.
“Seventy percent of the building walls are open windows to take advantage of natural lights, ventilation and fresh cool air for lesser use of air-conditioning system,” architect Felino Palafox Jr. said in an interview during the groundbreaking ceremony Thursday last week.
The open windows are also symbolic of “transparency in governance,” Palafox said.
Mayor Roderick Alcala said funds for the construction of the 9,000-square-meter structure would come from a P320-million loan approved by Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines, at a building cost of P35,000 per sq m.
The environment-friendly design will showcase a “roof deck that can accommodate 420 people and be used for alternative energy like solar panel if the budget of the local government permits, or roof garden for vegetables or flowers,” Palafox said.
From the roof deck, one could also have a panoramic view of Mt. Banahaw and Tayabas Bay.
The perimeter of the building has been envisioned to include green walls, such as vertical trellises of bougainvillea, to insulate the building from the heat of the sun.
Palafox said the building plan also called for specifications above the safety regulations of the National Building Code for added protection. The structure was designed to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake, instead of just 7 as imposed by the building code, and 300 kilometers-per-hour wind speed, instead of just 200 kph.
“Addressing the hazard before it becomes a disaster is 90 percent cheaper than rehabilitation after the disaster,” Palafox said.
The new City Hall is situated along Maharlika Highway diversion road in Barangay Silangang Mayao, 7 km from the city proper. Construction will start next month and is expected to be finished in 18 months.
More road projects from different parts of the city going to the new building are already in the blueprint, Alcala said.
The project also aims to decongest heavy traffic in the downtown area, he said.
A regular shuttle bus will transport local government employees. At present, city government offices are scattered in five locations inside and outside of the city proper, causing inconvenience and added transportation costs for the public.
A City Hall annex building was built in Barangay Isabang in 1995 and is currently occupied by the Sangguniang Panglunsod, City College of Lucena and offices of city departments. Upon completion of the new building, it would be left for exclusive use of the school.
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