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How ‘Perfecting the Air’ can help improve lives and heal Mother Earth

By LAI S. REYES, The Philippine STAR Published Dec 06, 2023 8:30 am

2020 is regarded by the United Nations (UN) as the decade of action—to end poverty, to rescue the planet, and eventually build a peaceful world.

Launched in September 2020, the Climate Clock counts down the critical time window the world has to reach zero emissions — or else face more devastating climate catastrophes.

And so, in the urgent race against climate change, major companies around the world are stepping up their efforts to achieve net zero emissions.

Daikin Industries Ltd., the world’s largest air-conditioning manufacturer headquartered in Osaka, recognizes not only the importance of mitigating its own environmental impact, but also advocating change and inspiring others to follow suit.

Daikin’s Technology and Innovation Center (TIC) in Osaka is the first large-scale office building in Japan to win LEED Platinum certification. 

True to its tagline, “Perfecting the Air,” Daikin continues to pursue solutions in the realm of air to contribute to the well-being “of the earth, cities and the people.”

I was part of the media group invited by Daikin Philippines to visit its award-winning Technology and Innovation Center (TIC) in Yodogawa Manufacturing Plant Complex in Settsu City in Osaka, which showcases advancements in environmental technologies—since Daikin’s inception in 1924—that can be used as models for energy efficiency around the globe.

At TIC, we explored the initiatives undertaken by Daikin Industries Ltd. as it strives towards a net zero, nature-positive world.

The display at the Daikin Discovery Hall details the rich history of the world's leading air conditioning manufacturer.
Leed-ing the way

Daikin’s sustainable and state-of-the-art Technological and Innovation Center (TIC) is a design marvel. Covering 49,000-sqm of floor space, the six-floor building was designed using Japan’s Zero Energy Building (ZEB) concept, utilizing tech and design features to reduce energy consumption while maintaining indoor temperature comfort.

TIC is the first large-scale office building in Japan to achieve the highest rank of Platinum Certification in the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for New Construction (LEED-NC) rating system.

An exhibit shows the evolution of air conditioning technologies developed by Daikin Industries Ltd

Developed and managed by the US Green Building Council (US-GBC), LEED is a green certification system that has expanded globally as an evaluation system of environmentally responsible building and area development.

Our “tour guide” Haruka Toyama, Daikin Philippines sales planning manager, let us experience the unique air-conditioning system (an acrylic wall) at the lobby that harnesses natural energy and infuses seasonal scents which are distributed through the ventilation system to provide a comfortable working area while saving energy.

Toyama also shared that Daikin’s exterior walls incorporate eaves that shield 50 percent of direct sunlight, resulting in “fewer shadows while still bringing in natural light.” 

Shadow art installation at the Daikin Discovery Hall

The large, open office area makes use of a combination of VRV (variable refrigerant volume systems based on Inverter Technology compression developed by Daikin) and DESICA (which uses heat pump to absorb and release moisture into the air) to process sensible and latent heat separately. The building also makes use of natural ventilation and outdoor air to cool the air-conditioning units. At Daikin’s TIC, sustainability is not just a buzzword but a way of life.

Providing suitable air for every space

Climate change causes temperature to rise. As extreme heat hits many parts of the world, millions of people, especially in tropical countries like the Philippines, are turning to air conditioners for momentary relief. And the “excessive cooling” culture in the ASEAN region contributes to the rise of global energy consumption.

Daikin knows too well that climate, regulations, lifestyles, and cultures vary from country to country. To address these differences, the company has developed specialized air-conditioning solutions to achieve the ideal air for each location.

In Japan, for example, the climate is hot and humid in the summer, but dry and cold in the winter. So, opening the windows and ventilating the room will not keep the room temperature comfortable.

Thus, Daikin developed a retrofit ventilation product to allow spaces with existing air conditioners to have ventilation. While ventilating, fresh air from the outside can come in while keeping the comfortable temperature.

Replacing normal ventilation with Daikin’s energy recovery ventilation can reduce the load of heat and humidity from outside air, making indoor temperature comfortable even at 26 degrees, leading to energy savings and comfort.

As Daikin continues its effort in “Perfecting the Air,” the company not only helps improve people’s health and lives but heals Mother Earth as well.

A strategic partnership

Aside from the educational TIC tour, highlight of our Osaka trip was the signing of a landmark deal for energy efficiency between Daikin Philippines and the City of Mandaue in Cebu.

In a bid to find the perfect balance between sustainability and progress, Mandaue City approached Daikin Philippines to help them find sustainable solutions to climate change issues on energy efficiency and emission reduction.

“Ten years ago, Mandaue City had to deal with urban woes like the degradation of our two rivers (Butuanon and Mahiga), decades of solid waste mismanagement, poor transport system, massive urban and river flooding, poor water supply and more,” shared Araceli G. Barlam, department head, City Environment and Natural Resources Office.

In 2014, Mandaue City introduced a targeted performance-based initiatives system for investors and this paved the way for the drafting of its landmark legislation on the Green Building Program of the City.

“To this day, the Mandaue is still the only city in the country to have crafted and implemented an ordinance that adopted the BERDE Green Building Rating System in full,” Barlam enthused.

Daikin Industries Ltd. has pledged to support the City of Mandaue with its Green Building Ordinance to ensure it retains its investment location potential.

Present at the signing ceremony were Daikin Airconditioning Phils. president Takayoshi Miki, Philippines Green Building Council (PHILGBC) chief executive officer Christopher Dela Cruz, Mandaue Councilor Jennifer del Mar, and Daikin Industries Global Operations Division general manager Junichi Ohmori.

The MOU signing was also witnessed by representatives from PHILGBC, Daikin Philippines deputy division manager Wesley Andre Chu, and other officials, Mandaue City officials, and select members of the press.

Miki lauded the local government for taking steps to lower their carbon footprint during the the MOU signing.

“Last year, we had a meeting in your office where we learned of your pride and passion in attaining sustainability and efficiency in your city,” Miki recalled. “We are lucky to find such good partners, who are purposely driving to achieve progress for the City of Mandaue.”

In a recorded video message, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes stressed how the partnership with Daikin, the technology leader in the HVAC industry, signifies a commitment to meet global standards and build a better urban landscape.

“At the heart of our collaboration lies an unwavering commitment to tackle the hurdles posed by the swift urban growth in our beloved city of Mandaue,” Mayor Cortes said. “We are diving into challenges like traffic management, waste control, environmental protection, and flood resiliency head-on. Daikin Philippines Inc., with its cutting-edge air-conditioning solutions and strong devotion to energy efficiency, becomes an invaluable partner in our quest for a city that’s not just livable but sustainable.”

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Editor’s Note: BrandedUp is designed to provide you with insightful, inspiring, and educational content created by PhilSTAR L!fe in collaboration with brands like Daikin Philippines.