The meaning

of greening

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Understanding the trends in
sustainable building


For the past six years, World Green Building Week has focused a spotlight on the need to create sustainable built environments. FutureOffice spoke to leading proponents for green building and asked their thoughts asked their thoughts on the continuing importance of greening the office real estate landscape?

A green
tipping point


Future trends in building sustainability are generating more interest than ever. After all, there are urgent issues to tackle. According to the World Green Building Council, buildings consume a third of the world’s energy and are responsible for 20% of global emissions. There’s a danger that this figure could double or even triple by 2050. So developments that slash energy use and save both water and waste will be absolutely essential if we’re to see positive environmental change. 

1/3 of the worlds energy consumed by buildings.
Source: World Green Building Council

Sustainability isn’t the big elephant in the room anymore."


- Egbert Nijmeijer, Senior Portfolio Manager, Kempen Capital Management

Commercial value of green

The conversation is also now geared around how green buildings deliver on economic priorities such as return on investment and risk mitigation. More businesses than ever are prioritizing sustainability and those on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index are outperforming other leading companies.

The value of building green


Investments

at the time of construction may save current resources expended on energy, water and waste disposal


Leasing space

in a green building may send a concrete signal of social awareness, and of the superior social responsibility of tenants


An improved indoor environmental

quality in green buildings might result in higher employee productivity


Sustainable buildings

might have longer economic lives leading to reduced risk premiums and higher valuations of the properties

Targets and growth

There’s an increasing level of risk associated with non-sustainable developments and tenants are actually looking for a greater level of flexibility in the buildings they occupy. And then there are the issues of energy savings and public relations.

The growth of Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) in recent years is testament to just how seriously businesses are taking the subject. When the standard was first established in 2009, some 200 companies and funds provided data. By last year, this figure had increased by a factor of three and reports were filed on $2.5 trillion worth of real estate.

Environmental certification for buildings is now part and parcel of corporate responsibility. It’s hard to let a building without a BREEAM rating, LEED or local building certification. There are also an increasing number of targets to measure efficiency and sustainability, effecting and influencing the decisions of developers, owners and building users.

We looked at office space in 2005 and 0.1% was certified as green. In 2013 5.1% was certified. In a sector that is slow to change, this is fast."


- Nils Kok, Founder and CEO GRESB

Why building green is a
smart move for developers


• Higher sales price
• Lower construction costs
• Rapid return on investment
• Increase market value
• Quicker sales
 

Our approach is not only good for the planet and people, it’s good for profits."


- Owen Zacharaisse, Delta Development Group

Key benefits of owning a
green building


• Corporate image and value
• Lower operating costs
• Lower exit yield
• Increased occupancy rates
• Increased asset value

If you are an owner it’s easier to get tenants if you have a healthy work environment."


- Egbert Nijmeijer, Senior Portfolio Manager, Kempen Capital Management

Key benefits of leasing a green building


• Increased productivity
• Health and wellbeing
• Reduced downtime
• Lower operating costs
• Green is good for business

When you have better control over light, air and temperature, you have a healthy building and a more productive workforce. Green buildings feel good."


- Nils Kok, Founder and CEO GRESB

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