BREEAM to the fore

Green credentials like BREEAM ratings are enough of a sway on their own to attract investors, a new report suggests

Market demand, not just government legislation, is driving the move to more sustainable buildings, a survey by DLA Piper has found, while two thirds of property investors favour BREEAM ratings as the benchmark for judging such buildings.

The law firm surveyed over 100 investors, 88% of whom said they considered green certification to be important when assessing buildings like One Angel Square in Manchester (pictured), which still holds the highest ever BREEAM rating for a new building.

Some 71% said they would be willing to incur higher investments costs if it meant they could acquire sustainable real estate. This was mainly because of the lower operational costs and higher rents that often come with such buildings.

However the report, Towards a Green Future, also suggested that there was some confusion at the number of different certification schemes in existence, with two-thirds wanting BREEAM to go forward as an international standard.

Olaf Schmidt, co-head of DLA Piper's real estate practice, said: "With clients active across Europe, we have witnessed the growth in interest in sustainable real estate across the continent. Our survey confirms that investors – particularly those involved with cross border transactions – would welcome a harmonisation of certification standards to facilitate further take up of sustainable practices and engender transparency of performance standards.”

Martin Townsend, director of sustainability at BRE Global, (pictured with DLA Piper senior associate Christiane Conrads), said: “This independent research builds on three similar reports from recent years, demonstrating the benefits of BREEAM, the value of its science based approach and the value it brings to buildings and the marketplace.”

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