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CBRE launches sustainability services

Released at: 17:00, 20/02/2017

CBRE launches sustainability services

Image: cbrevietnam.com

Services offer clients practical advice on sustainable strategies and implementation.

by Doanh Doanh

CBRE has launched CBRE Sustainability services in Vietnam, offering clients practical advice on strategy and implementation with high service standards at reasonable costs.

“All categories of real estate can benefit from sustainability, especially office, industrial and retail,” said Mr. Marc Townsend, Managing Director of CBRE Vietnam. “During good times, the owner of a sustainable office building earns higher rents and grows occupancy faster than competing buildings, while in bad times occupancy and tenant quality performs more resiliently. For industrial property, the situation is different, because normally the occupier captures all the sustainability benefits over the period of occupancy. Residential and retail are also beneficiaries. We believe it makes sense to promote these benefits and encourage all investors in property to put sustainability at the core of their strategy.”

Growing awareness about the financial costs of unsustainable growth is prompting governments around the region to take action to control “environmental freeloaders”, who earn profits but leave expensive problems for others to clear up. Some countries have legislated that all new construction must meet certain green standards (such as Singapore), while others incentivize investors with higher plot ratios for green buildings (such as Vietnam). Meantime, global occupiers are prioritizing leases in green certified buildings.

In Vietnam until now, however, investors have embraced sustainability only in a limited way. Perceptions of higher costs, as well as a lack of understanding about the process and requirements, may have put some developers off, but given the growing competition and greater awareness by end users, now is the time to look more deeply into sustainability.

Aside from the income generation of a sustainable building with reduced energy consumption and improved water efficiency, it will also enable building owners to cut operating costs, optimize the life cycle of the building, increase the property’s reputation, and improve occupants’ attendance and productivity.

In order to become sustainable, the first step is a gap analysis and energy modelling performed by qualified Green Engineers, leading to an action plan to achieve potential savings targets against established benchmarks, as well as ongoing monitoring and re-certification over time.

The main global standard is LEED from the USGBC (US Green Building Council), although there are local systems (such as Lotus in Vietnam or Green Mark in Singapore). All seek to guide both the construction of new buildings and the operation of existing ones. For new buildings, sustainability will focus on the design, specification and construction of the project. For existing ones, the focus will be on energy audits, operational optimization and maintenance efficiencies. Hence, all buildings can embrace this trend.

CBRE Sustainability provides LEED certification services under license from the USGBC, with over 500 LEED properties successfully certified in North America and China. By acting as a trusted partner of investors, CBRE has worked alongside architects and construction engineers in order to make both new and existing buildings more sustainable, thus reducing costs and enhancing asset value.

The CBRE Vietnam Sustainability Team includes experienced engineers led by Richard Colville, Director of Asset Services, and regional leadership based throughout Asia Pacific, with many LEED technicians and energy modelers located in Greater China. This combination of regional and local expertise guarantees clients high service standards at reasonable cost.

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