|"Sustainability and attitudes towards green buildings are still relatively new but are an increasingly important aspect of real estate markets in the Czech Republic," says new study published by Jones Lang LaSalle.
|Along with the global recessions, energy efficiency has also become one of the major topics in both the commercial and residential real estate markets. In the commercial market, international green certifications are being more and more sought, mainly by large corporate clients but also by international investors who, focusing on the medium and long term horizon, see green certificates as a current competitive advantage and necessary future feature of modern office schemes.||
Main Point Karlín (Photo: PSJ INVEST)
|In the residential market, the crises have forced people to look for any possible savings and developers have taken this advantage to introduce something new in times of declining demand on the market. All segments need to start to adapt to upcoming legislative changes in the area of sustainable development and occupation which should happen within the European Union over the following 8 years.
In the retail real estate sector, going green is still something relatively new. There are however a few exceptions who go beyond “standard” steps and look for additional solutions: Tesco opened in 2011 the first zero carbon footprint hypermarket in continental Europe in Jaroměř, recently opened Forum Nová Karolína by Multi Development is the very first retail property to achieve an internationally acknowledged green certificate (BREEAM Very Good), Unibail-Rodamco has announced its aim to gain green certification for the extension of Centrum Černý Most.
The motivation of these developers may differ: while some perceive the certification of properties as something which can be used for marketing purposes and later help during the sale of the property to conscientious investors, others may have sustainable development as part of their company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR). Due to current legislation, there are not necessarily any direct benefits for landlords to choose environmentally friendly solutions; the EPBD II directive on energy stamps will be the only legal requirement to quote the actual energy consumption of the property.
In respect to sustainability and international certifications, the office market is the most developed sector in the Czech Republic.
|Currently, there are several office projects which are targeting the achievement of international green building certifications. Prague, with the largest office stock in the country, is the logical leader in the market of green offices. There are currently about 180,000 m2 of office development under construction in Prague out of which about 65% have submitted to international energetic and environmental precertification. The construction of sustainable and low energy costs office buildings is becoming increasingly important and is required both by occupiers and investors.|
|Although the office market in Ostrava is significantly smaller than in Prague or Brno, there are two properties which are in a way outstanding: Nordica Ostrava (built by Skanska) and Intoza building.
The Campus Science Park building C in Brno is currently designed to be environmentally friendly and AIG/Lincoln will aim to achieve LEED Gold certification. CTP Invest is aiming with its Spielberk Office Centre Tower B for BREEAM Excellent or potentially BREEAM Outstanding. In case of success it would be the first Outstanding property in the continental Europe.
Sustainability in the residential market significantly differs from commercial markets. It works less from a corporate responsibility aspect or a competitive marketing advantage but, is driven more by direct savings for future owners and a positive attitude towards the environment.
Developers that are preparing or building energy efficient apartment buildings include: Skanska, YIT, Design Development (X-Loft project), Sekyra Group and Konhefr. It was however JRD who built the first passive apartment building project in Prague and are currently preparing a new project of 5 apartment buildings in Prague 10, again in passive energy standard. This would so far be the largest passive energy project in the Czech Republic.
Although certificates are not yet very common in the industrial property market, there are already a few pioneers implementing international certificates on the local market. The first certified warehouse development for let was constructed in mid-2011 in the western area of Prague. Developer Portland Trust completed another phase of Karlovarská Business Park with ca. 11,000 m2. The premises, currently fully leased to Lindab, have been certified with a BREEAM Very Good certificate and it is the first BREEAM final certification under the Europe Commercial 2009 scheme in the Czech Republic and the first BREEAM certified industrial building in the region. Another pioneer in the Czech Republic is Hill’s Pet Nutrition. The global producer of premium pet foods has achieved LEED certification for its new production facility in Hustopeče, located on the D2 highway, south of Brno. This scheme, completed in 2010, is the first certified manufacturing facility in the Czech Republic.
Source: Jones Lang LaSalle