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A green recovery after the blues?

Jones Lang LaSalle seminar examines the role of sustainability in property markets post economic recovery

London, 21st  May 2010 – Jones Lang LaSalle hosted a sustainability seminar chaired by the firm’s Chief Executive, Andrew Gould, which addressed the essential role of sustainability in the property sector post the economic recovery.
Chris Hiatt Chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle’s National Office Agency team examined how the drought in development pipeline of new space in the UK will open the market for refurbishment of existing stock.
Julie Hirigoyen Lead Director, Jones Lang LaSalle Upstream Sustainability Services followed with a presentation on the implications of sustainable refurbishment opportunity for both investors and corporates.  Commenting on her presentation, Julie said: “Both the changing culture of corporate occupation and the tightening hand of regulation are pushing real estate investors towards sustainable product.  Refurbishment offers a significant opportunity to reposition assets on a low carbon scale, and avoid exposure to obsolescence risks. Given how much can be done cost effectively to reduce the carbon footprint of a typical building - sometimes by up to 30% - it would seem clear that current market trends and sustainability drivers are finally pointing in the same direction.”
Presenting this premise in action, Anthony E. Malkin, Empire State Building Company delivered a case study on the landmark sustainability refurbishment of the Empire State Building, highlighting the practical implications of refurbishing a commercial building.  The resulting $20 million plan is projected to reduce energy use by 38 percent representing an annual savings of $4.4 million. Additionally, carbon emissions will be reduced by 105,000 metric tons over the next 15 years.  The retrofit ultimately will be funded through the energy and operational savings and will pay for itself in 3.1 years.

Paul McNamara, Director and Head of Research at PRUPIM, outlined the role that refurbishment can play within a diverse investment strategy and how to unlock the value opportunity across a global property portfolio.  Paul also focused on the immediate priorities required to protect against downside risk.  Alastair Young, Head of Property Europe at KPMG presented a practical case study on the fit out of the firm’s new headquarters building located at 15 Canada Square.  The 15-storey building is a successful example of a highly-efficient, sustainable office building aimed a creating a collaborative, networking, transparent and open working environment for staff.
Julie Hirigoyen, concluded: “We believe that both corporates and investors can benefit from applying a sustainable retrofit approach to their portfolio. This is why we have devised a five point plan (Fig. 1) to guide them in taking action. By focusing on key opportunities in their portfolio, and planning sustainability into existing capital expenditure schedules, both parties have the potential to unlock value and be more prepared for a low carbon economy.”