Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rapid Changes Could Make Stock Obsolete

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rapid Changes Could Make Stock Obsolete

Article excerpt

SUSTAINABILITY legislation causes irreversible changes to European office buildings as the real estate industry adapts at different speeds More than 80% of real-estate professionals think sustainability is the highest priority strategic issue facing office real estate decisionmakers over the next 10 years, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Offices 2020 research findings.

However, the path to consistent sustainable real estate is moving at different speeds across Europe with new legislation driving the evolution of best practice in countries such as France, Germany and the United Kingdom, while economic constraints are impacting overall progress in other countries.

Bill Page, director, EMEA research, Jones Lang LaSalle, who is leading the Offices 2020 research programme, explained: "From almost nowhere a decade ago, sustainability is now a key consideration for office real estate.

"While environmental change, cost control and ethical business practices are all part of the equation, legislation is the real game-changer forcing European occupiers and investors to adapt their office buildings.

"While the European Union requires all new buildings to be nearly zero energy by 2020, there is a growing divergence across different buildings and countries.

"This gap is widening and will increase over the next decade between those leading the way towards sustainable real estate and those falling behind.

"A clear example of enforced change is the 2011 Energy Act in the United Kingdom.

"From April 2018, landlords will be unable to let out residential or business premises below a minimum standard, which is widely expected to be an Energy performance certificate rating lower than E. "An estimated 63% of UK stock has a rating lower than E. This will force rapid change to the majority of buildings over a relatively short timeframe."

Simon Taylor, associate director in office agency at Jones Lang LaSalle's Newcastle office, said: "Sustainability was once seen as a soft issue on the periphery of business strategy but this has now changed. …

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