DTZ launches European property Sustainability Guide

DTZ, a UGL company, has launched a ‘European Sustainability Guide’ to provide occupiers, investors and developers with an overview of sustainability practices in real estate across the European Union.

The Guide, part of DTZ’s insight into the growing impact of sustainability on property costs and decisions, notes only 5% of current office stock currently has a “green” rating and confirms urgent action is required to address sustainable issues.

The guide contains a European wide summary of key indicators of sustainability; energy cost per country, most widely implemented “green” ratings , number and volume of green buildings. In addition, the guide considers the role of building regulations, the definition of low energy buildings, Energy Performance Certificates and implementation of green leases and ratings.

Paul Brown, head of Health, Safety and Sustainability at DTZ, says there are two aspects for investors and occupiers to consider. The first relates to the legal adoption of more stringent building regulations at local level based on the European Union’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) – obligatory to all member states.

The standards vary but the impact of the legislation should not be underestimated with 44% of the EPCs undertaken by DTZ in the UK suggesting urgent action if these properties are to be occupied after 2018. The second is voluntary and relates to the use of rating tools such as BREEAM, DGNB, LEED and HQE amongst others.

The guide includes a summary of the main tools set up across Europe to measure the energy performance of buildings in order to allow investors and occupiers to apply the right process for obtaining a “green” certification.

It also considers the value of ‘green’ and the recent definition of new prime buildings which considers energy performance levels. This definition has come into force as high energy efficiency has started to spread across Europe with seven (mainly Nordics, France and the UK) out of 22 countries covered in the guide having already witnessed this change.

However, current green office stock – defined as buildings with green certifications, accounts for only 24 million sq m across Europe, representing less than 5% of the overall stock.

Magali Marton, head of CEMEA Research at DTZ and author of the report, said analysis of prime rents for low energy buildings against non low-energy buildings across Europe shows that there is not yet any clear differentiation in terms of pricing in most European countries.

“There are, however, some countries which are now showing increased evidence of higher pricing in green buildings. This is the case outside central locations in Finland, Germany and Romania.”

Beyond the Energy Performance Certificate and the green ratings, the emergence of green buildings is expected to impact the relationship between tenants and landlords.

An appendix focused on sustainable use of the buildings is now required for some leasing contracts in half of the European countries covered in DTZ’s analysis. Green leases vary in terms of content or obligations for tenants and/or landlords. However their requirement for new or existing lease contracts is evidence that sustainability is expected to deeply impact the real estate market.

DTZ expects these trends to accelerate as each Member State gives legal effect to the European Union’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

To view the research visit: http://www.dtz.com/research


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