"Developers are increasingly focusing on the efficiency and long-term sustainability of a building lately, due to the benefits they can gain from the green certification process: reducing energy consumption, maintaining the value of the rent at a competitive level or even better retention of tenants. The large number of developed office projects has led tenants to become more demanding in choosing space, so owners are trying to differentiate themselves from competition and green certifications become so necessary for the success of a real estate project", said Oana Stamatin, Associate Director of Colliers International Romania's Real Estate Management Services (REMS).

According to Colliers International data in 2017, 39 green certificates were awarded, compared to 29 in 2016, for real estate projects to be developed and for existing ones. Of these, 24 (61%) were office buildings, lower than the previous year (80% of the total), due to the fact that the certification activity was also intensified in the retail segment (31% compared with 18% in 2016).

However, the trend that emerged last year was that each new office building in development to obtain a LEED or BREEAM certification for better market positioning. In turn, ten-year or even older projects have begun the process of obtaining a certification for existing buildings in order to remain attractive to tenants. Thus, the certifications granted for the buildings in use, which accounted for over three quarters of the market, were predominant.

Compared to other countries in the Central and Eastern Europe region, Romania has made a positive development on the green certificates for offices, surpassing Hungary and the Czech Republic in certain aspects.

"Bucharest has a total stock of modern offices of 2.3 million square meters, compared to Prague or Budapest, with about 3.4 million square meters each. However, 45% of the office space in the Capital City has green certifications, while in Prague and Budapest the proportion is one third of the total. We expect the half threshold to be reached towards the end of 2018 or the first half of 2019", concluded Oana Stamatin.

At national level, real estate projects have grown a lot in recent years, and so is their interest in green certificates. While Bucharest has nearly 1.7 million square meters of LEED or BREEAM-certified buildings (built area), other regional cities have an area close to this level. According to Colliers International data, second place after Bucharest is Cluj-Napoca (500,000 square meters certified), followed by Timisoara with 445,000 square meters.
Colliers representatives estimate that, by the end of this year or at the latest by 2019, the certified area in the regional cities will exceed the total of Bucharest. (source: forbes.ro)