HOW FAR can a bike take you within Nuvali? At the August 18 Green Kapihan media forum at Nuvali?s Evoliving Center (led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to drum up support for the September 9 to 11 International Conference on Green Industry in Manila), it was apparent that a bike could take you as far as your legs will allow.
Attended by representatives of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Women?s Business Council, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Green Kapihan also highlighted a soon-to-be-completed 51-kilometer bike paths (commuter bike lane and mountain bike trail) traversing the 1,700-hectare Nuvali property venture of Ayala Land.
Such a lengthy network of bike lanes and trails ? equivalent to the distance from Manila to Sta. Rosa in Laguna where Nuvali is situated ? would be enough to cover a residence-cum-business district 10 times that of the Makati Central Business District according to the project proponents.
The bike paths, scheduled for completion next year, will encourage the 40,000 or so families who will eventually call Nuvali their nature sanctuary, home and workplace to use bicycles instead of cars on their way to work, play and leisure.
Cycling is one way to inspire Nuvali dwellers to pay attention to their health and environment. But the developers have apparently made sure that even the structures inside the property evoked harmony with their surroundings.
Two noticeable ?green? infrastructure beside a man-made lake are the low-emissivity glass-building Evoliving Center and the One Evotech Building with double walls to trap heat. Both were designed by Leandro V. Locsin who incorporated environmental principles, one of which was to factor in the wind direction, during their construction.
The four-hectare lake, teeming with more than 8,000 locally grown carp and orange and yellow coys (which eat algae and water-breeding insects), sources its water from rain, among other things. Three gasoline-powered water taxis can ferry up to 12 passengers each from the Evoliving Center to the BPO campus (at a projected fare of P15 per person). And yes, each water taxi has enough life vests.
Aniceto ?Jun? V. Bisnar Jr., Ayala Land Inc. vice president, also revealed that the developer had just planted the 5,000th of the 100,000 or so trees committed for Nuvali. He added that the trees would be endemic to the area.
Bisnar said these 100,000 trees would not include those each resident would be committed to plant in his or her property. (Each resident would be made to plant at least three trees for a big lot, and one for a small lot).
Aside from their obvious environmental benefits, these trees would help shelter over 65 species of migratory birds in the area.
ALI has also partnered with the Laguna Lake Development Authority to help propagate bamboo in Nuvali and help promote environmental conservation efforts of the nearby Laguna de Bay, the country?s largest lake.
?Bamboo trees generate 10 times more oxygen compared to normal trees. It lasts for 100 years and regenerates itself,? Bisnar stressed. He added that bamboo sprouts are also a source of nutrients for humans.
Nuvali?s modern water treatment and sewage facilities and all infrastructure are already in place, Bisnar revealed.
The bike lanes will be found not only along Nuvali?s main roads, trails and open areas (the Sta. Rosa and Calamba areas are considered rolling terrain), but also in platforms leading to workplaces. Bike kiosks will be placed in all strategic locations.
Rivka Nagtalon, Ayala Land marketing officer, said Ayala would be holding a series of clinics for proper mountain biking and to teach bikers, pedestrians and motorists how to co-exist with one another.
Cycling competitions are also in the works toward the end of the year.
?We have created the infrastructure to make it easy for people to adopt the lifestyle,? she said.
The glass building Evoliving Center is equipped with low-emissivity coated glass. Low-emissivity coating controls heat transfer through windows. Windows manufactured with low-E coatings typically cost up to 15 percent more than regular windows, but they reduce energy loss by as much as 50 percent (according to the Encyclopedia of Alternative Energy and Sustainable Building).
To encourage its employees and customers to use bikes instead of cars, One Evotech Building (which houses the BPO campus and lakeside strip retail shops, including restaurants) features bike ramps going all the way to the fourth floor. Those without their own bikes can rent one of the 14 bikes currently available (at P60 per hour, mandatory helmet included).
The Evotech Building, a four-story Peza-registered structure which offers locators tax incentives, has its first call center locator Convergys now with 500 employees. Convergys will eventually employ 2,000.
Inside Evotech, the air is noticeably cooler even at high noon due to the double walls on the west side to prevent heat from reaching into the building, thus reducing operating costs for artificial cooling systems.
Apparently, bikers who overexert themselves on the lengthy bike routes will find many places of rest ? natural and man-made ? inside Nuvali.