More than 40 real estate projects, both new and existing, were sustainable certified in Romania in 2017, according to BuildGreen, the leader of the local consultancy market in the field of design, development and certification of sustainable buildings in Romania.

“The local real estate market has grown significantly in recent years in terms of sustainability and we are from this point of view at the same level with other countries in the region, whether we are talking about the Czech Republic, Slovakia or Poland and Hungary. We are already witnessing a shift towards a higher level of sustainability, which emphasizes not only high levels of energy performance, but also the implementation of new technologies and the creation of a working environment that emphasizes employee welfare,” explains Razvan Nica , managing director of BuildGreen.

Thus, obtaining a sustainable certification under the BREEAM and LEED rules has become a practice in the segment of office buildings and large commercial centers. At the same time, many project owners already delivered decide to implement energy efficiency solutions, aiming at obtaining a sustainable In-use certification in the desire to keep relevant projects on the market, compared to new projects that are typically in levels high performance.

The next level of sustainability

The next stage of implementation of the sustainable development principles on the local real estate market will be the emergence of the first sustainable residential projects. At this time there are already several projects that have obtained such certification from internal fora and the next period will also bring the first BREEAM or LEED certifications.

The increase in the number of mixed real estate projects will also be achieved through community-type certifications, which can benefit from the milestones of the master plans, resulting in extensive communities where the housing, professional, commercial and recreational components are harmoniously combined, a successful business model. In addition, in the near future, we will be seeing more and more sustainable projects developed on the logistics and industrial segments – an example for this is the LEED-certified Arcelik plant.

The desire of investors to obtain high energy returns will also be achieved by developing the first projects according to the EDGE sustainability norms, which emphasize the efficient use of resources, both in the development process and during the administration.

EDGE is a complementary certification system and was created by the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank investment division, obtaining certification by achieving a 20% reduction in energy, water and energy consumption in materials construction.

For example, by reducing the ratio between walls and windows, the use of intelligent ventilation and artificial lighting solutions, the implementation of solar panels and the use of low-pressure valves can lead to consumption reductions of up to about 50%.

“Efficiency of energy consumption will be doubled in the immediate period of implementing a multitude of solutions to significantly increase the welfare of employees at the workplace, measures that will eventually translate into increasing satisfaction and employee productivity,” said Razvan Nica.

Thus, in the next period, more WELL sustainability certifications will be obtained, which will focus on creating a friendly working environment conducive to employee welfare. This can be achieved by implementing intelligent lighting, ventilation, or general office design solutions.

For example, some measures can have an immediate immediate impact, such as changing the ventilation system, while others have a more subtle effect – many studies have shown that artificial light levels in a workplace can lead to insomnia or stair design after a friendly design can result in a lower use of elevators, which translates into a better general health of employees.

In 2017, BuildGreen advised and gained over 25 sustainable certifications for a wide range of projects in Romania, but also in Central and Eastern Europe and Lebanon, representing a 25% increase in the number of counseling projects among the most important, the entire NEPI region portfolio of Rockcastle, The Bridge and Globalworth Tower – both with LEED Platinum, Oregon Park, The Mark (photo) and Unirii View certified.

The company has so far been involved in the sustainable certification of more than 130 real estate projects with a cumulative investment value of over one billion euros.