The CREBA Developer of the Decade Awards
In celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding, the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Associations Inc (CREBA) is granting special recognition to real estate developers who have demonstrated meritorious service and achieved distinction in the industry in the last ten years.
The CREBA Developer of the Decade Award is an exemplary mark of excellence that celebrates the highest level of achievement in real estate development.
Vital Role of Developers
These Awards are based on the fact that real estate developers play an important role in shaping the built environment and influencing the way people live, work, and play. They are involved in the planning, design, and construction of residential, commercial, industrial and leisure properties. They create new housing and commercial developments, which have a significant impact on local economies, as they bring jobs, taxes, and new businesses to the area.
Yet, real estate developers can also influence society negatively through their implementation of improperly planned or poorly constructed developments that can lead to increased traffic, pollution, and loss of natural habitats. They can change the character of a community in a destructive manner, as new buildings and neighborhoods can alter the existing landscape and cultural identity.
Having a hand in how land is used and what types of development are constructed in an area, real estate developers can have both positive and negative impacts on society, depending on the specific development and how it is executed. Real estate development projects have long-term effects and the potential to create sustainable, livable, and resilient communities that benefit everyone.
Impact on Local & National Development
The CREBA Developer of the Decade Awards recognize that real estate developers have this crucial impact on society and the world around them. The positive impact can be far-reaching for local communities. Without real estate development, we wouldn’t have homes, shops, schools, hospitals, and other essential buildings to service our needs. The importance of real estate lies on its ability to contribute to social value and support progress in our society.
The Awards also acknowledge that our cities and towns are in a constant state of change. Whether people are moving away from cities to smaller towns and suburbs, or to cities from smaller towns, these areas need to be able to support the changing population. This means there needs to be adequate and affordable housing. Along with housing comes shops, food outlets, schools, hospitals and more.
Real estate development is how developers grow local economies in small towns and large cities to meet the needs of the people. With more homes, shops, and essential facilities, towns and cities can grow, and their inhabitants can thrive.
At the same time, as technology has improved, so has our ability to save water and electricity. Building standards have changed to support more sustainable and environmentally responsible design. Whether real estate developers are building new properties from the ground up or renovating old ones, they can take these new standards into account. This enables them to produce buildings that enjoy natural ventilation and lighting, thus placing less strain on the electrical grid. In addition, better designed buildings are typically safer and more resilient to disaster risks owing to the advances in green infrastructure and architecture.
Social Impact – the nominee’s work has clearly delivered a positive impact on society through, for example, tackling societal problems such as affordable housing, sound planning, environmental responsibility, and establishing initiatives that recognize and value the importance of people, communities and their culture.
Innovation – the nominee has demonstrated approach to projects in meeting changing market demands, wellness goals, livability features, construction methodology, and use of technology.
Sustainability – evidence in the nominee’s projects that improve sustainability, for example, reduction of carbon emissions, energy use and waste; adoption of green infrastructure and building principles; disaster-resilience; etc.
Adaptation – the nominee’s approach to projects in navigating challenges, such as economic headwinds, existing settlements, disaster risks, environmental challenges, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic.
Financial Success – the nominee must be able to prove market leadership and clearly demonstrate robust financial performance, with clear indicators of success such as, for example, business expansion.
Galvanizing Positive Agents of Change
In implementing these Awards, CREBA anticipates a deeper appreciation among those in the real estate industry of how to understand, measure, and enhance their social value. While social value refers to what is in the interest of society as a whole, in the context of real estate, it is concerned with the extent to which the built environment supports economic, environmental and social wellbeing, and in doing so improves the quality of life of people.
As an enabler of inclusive and sustainable development, real estate development’s social value is derived from the use of land and property.
It is CREBA’s hope that the Awards open up more opportunities to connect real estate development to local, place-based needs and priorities and to consider the industry’s role in helping tackle social and spatial inequalities. This will need to focus on how the government and the real estate industry can co-create social value and how to develop it beyond business as usual.
With this comes new opportunities to invest in more sustainable and inclusive communities – integrating housing, commercial real estate, social infrastructure, clean energy, green development, and natural capital investments. It’s about an increased focus on the design and quality of places that support happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives for everyone.
Dr. Nathaniel “Dinky” von Einsiedel is a Past President of CREBA, and Chairman of the CREBA Developer of the Decade Awards 2023 Committee. He was the Commissioner for Planning of Metro Manila , was Regional Director for Asia Pacific of the United Nations Urban Management Program, a Fellow of both the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners (PIEP) and the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP).