Sustainability in Construction

Brick and Mortar Builders, Inc.

7. Affordable and Clean Energy 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities

Overview

Brick and Mortar Builders, Inc. is a construction company that upholds a safety-first culture in all aspects of the business and provides a smooth and seamless construction experience to its clients. Furthermore, Brick and Mortar incorporates the following Sustainable Development Goals through the construction of residential houses and commercial spaces: SDG #9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, and SDG #11 Sustainable Cities and Communities. These goals are being addressed by Brick and Builders, Inc. through incorporating security systems, building resilient infrastructures with quality materials, and promoting eco-friendly houses.

Author

Jarmie Jae Javier

Jarmie Jae Javier

School

De La Salle University

De La Salle University

Professor

Pia Manalastas

Pia Manalastas

Innovation

On top of the construction of the projects, we always offer solar panels to our clients because it can reduce their electricity bills in the long term. We also want to incorporate the smart home system to make the client’s life easier. In other countries, safe drinking water is accessible, and we want to bring that to the Philippines. – Mr. John Reyes

Mr. John Reyes, the President and CEO of Brick and Mortar Builders, Inc., founded his company in 2018 with the help of his family. The business started as a traditional builder, focusing on building residential houses, but when the owner started his own family, he wanted a better world for his daughter. He explored and drew inspiration from construction trends in other countries and incorporated solar panels, smart home systems, and water filtration systems in Brick and Mortar’s projects. The company envisioned providing the clients with seamless and straightforward construction experiences while executing the client’s vision in the most efficient way possible.

The properties built with solar panels aim to reduce the electricity source from fossil fuels and coals, thereby reducing carbon emissions and, in turn, decreasing electricity consumption because the source is renewable energy. The smart home system (i.e., Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home) is where the internet of things plays an important role, especially now that the internet powers everything. This latest trend helps people be more efficient with their everyday lives, enabling the consumers to perform various household chores through voice command. The water filtration system makes the water to be potable. People will not need to spend on drinking water from refilling stations, and at the same time, they will have access to safe drinking water in the comfort of their homes.

Sustainability in Construction

Inspiration

We do not want to be a regular construction company. We always want to offer something new or game-changers. In the Philippines, we are always late to adapt to innovations. Whenever we travel locally or abroad, we always look for construction innovations, and we want to bring them here in the south (National Capital Region). – Mr. John Reyes

After graduating from college, Mr. John Reyes started to work for a local construction company. This immersion from his first job allowed him to travel around the Philippines, partaking in seminars while immersed in different designs. It then occurred to Mr. Reyes to check designs from other countries, which he realized had more advanced innovations. Hence, he wanted to pioneer them here in Las Piñas City. As Mr. Reyes said, he wants the Filipinos to benefit from what the homeowners from other countries are experiencing. He tried to promote cleaner energy sources, safe drinking water, and improved technology in the construction industry. These innovations align with the sustainable development goals, which are also his advocacies as a contractor.

Mr. John Reyes’ inspiration also comes from his desire to never stop learning because he believes that we learn something new every day. There are always new skills, techniques, and fresh ideas that we can learn, especially from a different perspective. This trait was why he was able to study and apply the add-on innovations when building Brick and Mortar’s projects. The perks of having a family-like relationship with his workers are that everyone enjoys the work and consistently gives their best effort. Also, the positive feedback from his clients during the turnover phase motivates him to do better on the next project.

Overall impact

Solar panels are widely used in other countries. However, the notion of Filipinos is that solar panels are expensive. Still, it is a worthy investment because the customers will benefit from lower electricity consumption, but it will also help reduce the carbon footprints in the environment.

Solar panels are becoming more popular, but only a small percentage of houses in the Philippines are using them. The main goal of Brick and Mortar is to decrease the use of fossil fuels and shift to solar panels, which use sunlight as a source of energy to generate electricity. Mr. Reyes said that he wanted their clients to benefit from having electricity and water from natural resources. The reduced electricity and water consumption savings can be set aside and be used for other essential expenses.

These innovations, among others, are the competitive advantage of Brick and Mortar against other builders in Las Piñas City because some of the builders have not yet adopted them.

Mr. John Reyes treats his employees and workers like family and aims to grow together as one team. Through everyday conversations with his employees, he could have a deeper connection with them. The dream of his employees is to improve the overall way of living and provide more than the necessities for their families. By starting his own construction company, he is helping the clients and providing jobs for his employees.


Business benefit

In today's construction business, it is very seldom that builders like Brick and Mortar include solar panels, smart home systems, and water filtration systems. These innovations help the end-user to have a lower electricity consumption and potable water in their homes. While these are advantageous to consumers, traditional builders do not usually offer these additional services because these are not their core products and are typically provided by third-party providers.

Brick and Mortar has the expertise and vision to make sure the clients experience the efficiency of the smart home system and water filtration systems. From day one, the clients will benefit from the innovative services. Hence, Brick and Mortar had repeat clients, marketing their services by word of mouth from satisfied clients, eventually leading to higher sales and income.

The company started with three regular employees, including Mr. John Reyes. They also hired ten workers on a contractual basis for their first-ever project. These ten contractual workers have been consistently hired to be part of the succeeding projects. The company has five regular employees and around 20 - 25 contractual workers per project.

Some of the employees could spend on home improvements because Brick and Mortar provided them with a consistent stream of income. The well-being of the workers also improved as they won't have to worry about where to get money to provide necessities for their families.

Social and environmental benefit

Brick and Mortar focuses on positively impacting the environment by building sustainable homes for the community. Mr. Reyes explained that part of their company's innovation is for their customers not to have to worry about running out of electricity. Solar energy is renewable, and a moderate amount of daily sunlight will provide the panels with enough solar energy to satisfy a home's electricity requirements.

This initiative is evident because they are pushing for solar energy, a renewable energy source, which would reduce reliance on fossil fuels and combats greenhouse gas emissions. Using fossil fuels produce water and air pollution, harming human health. Installing solar panels improves our overall well-being, reduces our carbon footprint, and reduces our dependence on carbon-based fuel sources.

When solar panels generate electricity, they produce zero emission, which means that they do not contribute to climate change, unlike traditional sources of energy (e.g., fuel). Solar power also reduces greenhouse gas emissions because it does not need to burn fossil fuels which emits greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide into the environment. Furthermore, solar energy is an inexhaustible energy source and is non-polluting. By using solar energy, people can be assured that no harm will come to their homes and family. (Solaric, 2018)

According to Philippine Solar Rooftops, a package for a 2-Kilowatt residential solar system, which is ideal for households with an electricity bill between Php 4,000.00 – Php 6,000.00, will cost Php 171,000.00 to install, and the estimated annual savings will be Php 33,600.00. It will only take about five (5) years to return on investment.

Sources:

Philippine Solar Rooftops. (n.d.) Retrieved from: https://www.solarrooftops.ph/

Solaric. (n.d.). Things You Should Learn About the Environmental Impacts of Solar Power Retrieved from: (https://solaric.com.ph/solar-power-impacts-environment/

Interview

John Marvin Ronald M. Reyes, President / CEO

Photo of interviewee

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Brick and Mortar Builders, Inc.

Brick and Mortar Builders, Inc.

Las Pinas City, Metro Manila, PH

Business Website: https://N/A

Year Founded: 2018

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

Brick and Mortar Builders, Inc. offers outstanding construction and design services for all its client’s needs. The company operates by simplifying the construction experience for their clients by walking them through excellently serviced eco-friendly projects. Brick and Mortar’s goal is to be recognized as a client-focused and trusted construction company and be a household name in the construction industry.