”We see a trend on the new projects segment: beside the owner’s desire to achieve the highest level of performance, there is also a tendency to implement new and innovative technologies that lead to a higher level of energy efficiency and increased comfort. These include geothermal heat pumps implemented for the first time by Portland Trust at Oregon Park, as well as solar panels – geothermal of photovoltaic. At the same time, facilities for electric cars are being implemented at this time or an infrastructure is created for the future. All this highlights a change in the developers vision towards medium and long term investments”, says Răzvan Nica, managing director BuildGrreen.

Thus, the Romanian real estate market goes through important changes regarding the sustainable development principles. More and more owners of completed projects want to align them with In-Use certifications criteria and almost all investors who are developing projects today are targeting the superior levels of a sustainable certification: BREEAM Excellent or LEED Platinum.

BuildGreen provided consultancy and successfully achieved, in the first half of this year, 21 sustainable certification for a whole range of projects in Romania and also in Central and Eastern Europe and in Lebanon. The new obtained certification meant an increase of 25% in terms of counseled project, compared to 2016 year-end, while the total area of the certified or assisted projects increased by 15%.

The company also continued in 2017 the sustainable certification process for the entire portfolio of NEPI Rockcastle, the biggest real estate investor in Central and Eastern Europe, finalizing several reference projects, such as Mega Mall and Promenada (BREEAM Excellent) shopping centers in Bucharest, City Business Center (Timisoara), Aupark Kosice, a mixed office-retail project with a total surface of 56,000 sqm located in Kosice, Slovakia, or the commercial centers owned by the fund in Constanta, Deva, Pitesti and Sibiu – the first green certifications obtained by building in these cities.

Among the most important projects completed by BuildGreen in 2017 are Oregon Park (BREEAM Excellent), owned by Portland Trust, and Globalworth Tower (LEED Platinum), owned by Globalworth investment fund, and Unirii View (BREEAM Excellent) office tower, built by Belgian investor Yves Weerts in downtown Bucharest.
”The operational certifications, for projects already completed, became an element of Corporate Social Responsibility as well as a comparative valuation element of portfolio assets. Also, setting minimum sustainability requirements for an entire portfolio owned by a real estate investor creates pressure for the less performing assets to improve their quality”, says Răzvan Nica.

A positive signal also came from the residential segment, where more and more investors are considering developing sustainable projects that will bring net benefits for potential buyers in a competitive market. Thus, in the short and medium term, we will see an increase number of sustainable certified residential projects and also an increased interest from industrial companies who will want to develop production units according to sustainable and environmentally friendly standards.
According to public data, in 2016, over 30 big commercial properties (office, retail and industrial) have obtained an international sustainability certificate in Romania only. BuildGreen estimates a 25% increase of the number of certified projects country-wide and a 30% increase of the company’s portfolio in 2017. (source: BuildGreen)