Green Buildings

Article excerpt

There is no doubt that green or sustainable development is becoming more popular among some developers and their professional teams - but it is still in its infancy.

What is sadly lacking at the moment are hard facts and figures that would be powerful persuaders in the take-up of such initiatives.

In the RICS study Green Value, which was published in October 2005, researchers found that, although there is anecdotal evidence of occupiers enjoying the benefits of green buildings, the hard financial advantages are not being adequately communicated.

It called on property industry groups to work together to identify and promote the value of green buildings so that their market value can become a serious consideration for the landlords, developers and investors.

New legislative pressures are being brought to bear on the market. The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) addresses calculating the energy performance of buildings, setting minimum standards in new and existing buildings, energy certification and the inspection and assessment of heating and cooling installations.

Planning Policy Statement One aims to set higher environmental standards for developments against a national standardised benchmark.

As far as new build is concerned, developers like Gazeley, which promotes sustainability and corporate responsibility as core values, are leading the way.

Since January 2005, the company has included environmental initiatives in their standard specification at no extra cost to the customer. Such initiatives include local provenance vegetation, recycled and rapidly renewable finished to offices, photovoltaic installations, solar thermal hot water systems, low water appliances in toilet areas, heat recovery recuperates, grey water recycling and bird boxes. …