Growing Power of Green Office Buildings; PROPERTY TRENDS

The Birmingham Post (England), February 14, 2008 | Go to article overview

Growing Power of Green Office Buildings; PROPERTY TRENDS


Developers and office landlords will have to put sustainability at the top of their priority list if they are to attract quality tenants, argues one commercial property pundit.

Jonathan Carmalt, office agency partner at King Sturge's Birmingham office, predicts that many more new office buildings will achieve the Breeam excellent rating over the next three years.

Eco-friendly offices are no longer just the preoccupation of the public sector but are becoming more mainstream and a key driver for occupiers both before and after occupation of a building.

Occupiers are increasingly concerned with the green footprint of a building and look for landlords who are willing to work with them to improve the environmental performance of buildings.

According to Mr Carmalt, early adopters will benefit most and that activity is already increasing in the speculative market.

"In Birmingham, we are already seeing the corporate market fly the flag for Breeam excellent rated office buildings with KPMG's new Snow Hill headquarters," says Mr Carmalt.

"Future speculative schemes such as Calthorpe House in Edgbaston and Eleven Brindleyplace - also to be Breeam excellent rated - are setting the standard for sustainable office buildings in the city centre."

With regulations rapidly changing and tenant demand for green offices on a steep upward curve, occupiers and investors will expect market-leading property to possess strong sustainability credentials.

"Green offices will be become the market norm in future and occupier demand for schemes offering green credentials are likely to let faster and have shorter void periods," says Mr Carmalt.

Birmingham-based regeneration specialist MCD Developments backs up these claims and feels as a developer, environmental sustainability is becoming much more widely recognised and understood.

It is itself adopting sustainable techniques in new schemes while also looking to push the boundaries with new and innovative ecofriendly building solutions.

The developer's latest scheme in Coventry - quickly let to a London-based government agency - features a ground source heat pump, passive heating and ventilation through a central atrium. It also has brise soleil to cut down on solar gain, rainwater harvesting and use of recyclable and recycled materials. …

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