Uribe & Schwarzkopf is at the vanguard of a new generation of buildings in Quito which will not only change the capital’s skyline but also push the bar of eco-e ciency to new heights.
From the top of the Yoo Quito building, close to the Hotel Quito, the splendor of Quito’s incredible location is undeniable, unequivocal. On every cardinal point, the imposing green and grey mountains of the Andes remind one of the capital’s privileged location. There’s nothing at or humdrum about it. The crenelated crest of Mount Pichincha dominates to the west. The sudden drop, down hundreds of metres, to the valleys is vertiginous to the east.
If an important element of quality of life is to be reminded of the natural world, Quiteños are blessed. Quito’s location amid inspiring natural landscapes reminds us of how lucky and advantaged we are to enjoy living here.
Our water is produced under a hundred kilometres from the city, in the páramo heights of the Eastern Cordillera. Much of our food is grown within a few hours’ drive from our homes. Rainfall nourishes the elds year-round, while our bright equatorial sun makes everything sprout and grow at the drop of a seed.
But despite this good fortune, Quito is not immune to the global forces at play on our planet. Climate change is happening all around us and it behoves us to take action and think of the future. Standing on the edge of Yoo Quito’s 22-storey residential tower, this forward- thinking is evident.
The native plants that border the building’s terrace are watered according to their exact needs by an automatic system fed by recycled rainwater. Waste water from showers, basins and washing machines is re-used for toilets. Not only is this system ecological, it also saves every resident money — the bottom line. But it’s more than the single bottom line of times past. A wave of new businesses — part of the B Corp movement of which Uribe & Schwarzkopf is a part — is focused on what’s being called the ‘triple bottom line’, evaluating their success according to environmental and social, as well as nancial, criteria.
“We view the long-term success of our company through the prism of nancial, social and environmental accountability and proactivity,” claims Joseph Schwartzkopf, Uribe & Schwarzkopf’s CEO, the creators of the towering Yoo Quito building in northern Quito. “City authorities are becoming ever- more demanding when it comes to the impact of buildings and if we want to attract the best clientele, we have to integrate these aspects. The younger generation of rst-time buyers make them part of their decision-making process. It’s no longer an option to be green. So, we have to demonstrate our leadership, always staying ahead of the curve.”
“We view the long-term success of our company through the prism of financial, social and environmental accountability and proactivity.”
The company has been at the forefront of the capital’s construction businesses when it comes to the triple-bottom line, recently celebrating obtaining the EDGE certi cation for its IQON building on the eastern side of La Carolina Park. EDGE is a World Bank Group certi cation with stringent ecological criteria, and IQON is the rst mixed-use building in Ecuador to achieve it. The company was also recently awarded the world’s most prestigious sustainable building accolade, the Energy Globe Award.
IQON, as well as the Uribe & Schwarzkopf’s other buildings on the periphery of La Carolina, Qorner and EPIQ, have all bene tted from the Municipality’s legislation of 2016, which enabled buildings to rise higher than 14 oors — only if they could be engineered in such a way that they reduced their carbon, water and energy footprint. The logic behind City Hall’s vision is that that building more densely close to public transport hubs makes long-term sense for the city. In the case of these buildings, all of them will be stone’s throws from new Metro stops. This progressive legislation is now being copied by other cities like Bogotá, and Uribe & Schwarzkopf has staked its claim to being at the vanguard of eco-e ciency with numerous new projects.
“Our company’s “Pro Eco Living” approach is holistic, whether it’s promoting women and equality of opportunity in the workforce, improving working conditions on our building sites, ensuring our buildings are as ecological- friendly as possible, or safeguarding our clients’ investments,” says Joseph. “It’s about building quality of life for all our stakeholders. With this vision, we’re con dent we can also build brand loyalty while building better cities for all of us to live in.”
New spaces for sustainable living. Measures include:
– Rainwater reused to supply 100% of the green space irrigation.
– Gray water from washing machines, showers and sinks is reused for toilets.
– Solar panels for energy generation.
– Green spaces on the ground floor and terraces in order to return the building’s footprint to the city.
– Materials employed enjoy national and international certifications such as ISO and LEED.
Moreno Bellido #200 y Av. Amazonas, Quito