Building solutions provider renews sustainability partnership with UP

September 16, 2021 - 2:34 PM
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Oblation at UP Diliman
The "oblation" stands in front of Quezon Hall, the administration building of the University of the Philippines Diliman. (Wikimedia Commons/Ramon Velasquez)

A cement manufacturer has renewed its partnership with the country’s premier state university for an elective course that highlights the value of sustainability and inclusivity in building for development.

In a virtual signing ceremony last Sept. 2, Holcim Philippines Inc. and the University of the Philippines College of Engineering (UP CoE) agreed to once again offer the Sustainable Construction Elective Course (CE 197).

It aims to teach aspiring engineers about “sustainable construction or designing and executing projects, which balances economic, environmental, and social interests.”

CE 197 was introduced in UP CoE in 2015 during the time Holcim sponsored the construction of a classroom in the Institute of Civil Engineering complex. The course was previously offered by the university in 2018.

UP Diliman chancellor Fidel Nemenzo said the elective course serves as “catalyst” for more courses on sustainable construction in the university.

“While we shall start with an undergraduate course, we hope to expand to an interdisciplinary course involving the different trades in construction such as architecture and engineering disciplines and in the future graduate courses,” Nemenzo said.

“This is in line with our efforts to produce the new generation of enyinhero ng bayan who will help in nation-building and engineering solutions for sustainable and inclusive development,” he added.

Zoe Sibala, Holcim Philippines senior vice president and chief sustainability officer, stressed the importance of collaborating with academic institutions in instilling the value of sustainability.

“[This] allows us to share the value of sustainable construction and early on make them our allies in building greener, building smarter, and building for all. We look forward to having our colleagues engage with these young, bright minds because one day, these young people will build these structures for our country,” Sibala said.

In November 2014, the partnership between UP and Holcim began when employees served as lecturers in a workshop to help the university’s fifth year engineering students transition from the university to the professional world. —Ma. Alena O. Castillo