DTZ: Savings in operating real estate? Largest reserves in prices, energy consumption and structures (CZ)

The Prague office of international property adviser DTZ has good news for owners of conventional buildings: a building can achieve significant operational savings without necessarily meeting the parameters of 'green buildings', and thereby reduce the costs charged to tenants as well as the environmental burden.

With the freeing up of the energy market and increased competition among distributors, savings can amount to several tens of percent and – calculated for the costs of a model shopping center – up to hundreds of thousands of crowns a year.

"Most important is thorough measurement and regulation of technologies, then limiting operation of equipment when the center is closed, use of modern technologies and of course a rigorous selection of suppliers of energy and services," says Zdeněk Volf, Center Manager Olomouc CITY. This shopping center reduced electricity costs over two years by 14.9%. Additional tens of thousand of crowns of operating costs were saved thanks to operative and thorough use of all possibilities of measuring and regulating technologies and maximizing use of service organizations.

According to Lenka Vodrážková, Associate Director & Head of Retail Property Management at DTZ, energy management is becoming the foundation of quality property management for all types of commercial buildings: "Basically every year we publish tenders for energy supplies, namely electricity, gas, water and industrial water. At DTZ we have the advantage that we can combine tender conditions of several commercial buildings together and achieve even more significant volume discounts for owners."

According to DTZ it is ideal when the optimization process goes hand in hand with investment in technological equipment and sophisticated cladding of buildings – the input costs yield rich returns in operational savings. "This is an especially topical issue for example for logistics centers and older production facilities, where we still find energy losses either due to insufficient insulation, poor sealing of glass facades or insufficient roof insulation," says David Svoboda, Head of Property Management at DTZ.

"We are aware that any investment in new cladding, new windows or new roofs for production halls or logistics complexes is essential for the owner. Therefore we always try to prepare a feasibility study for the owner where we present the entire reconstruction, including planned energy savings with a view of at least five years ahead." At the same time, DTZ property managers believe that as yet unpublished subsidy programs from EU structural funds could be a welcome support for similar types of investment for owners of warehouses and category B production halls.

The DTZ analysis shows that savings which can be achieved by tenders significantly contribute to a balanced budget in property management. At present tenders are frequently published especially for supplies of technological media. "This is a great opportunity to reduce costs while maintaining the quality of services provided by suppliers," said Zdeněk Volf.

"This is also understood by service organizations, producers and distributors, who are lowering margins and increasing service. Just for comparison: the CITY shopping center in Olomouc, thanks to rigorous tenders and the advantages of a competitive environment, is paying the same price for electricity as in 2006."

As pointed out by DTZ property managers in the services of dozens of shopping malls and retail parks, administrative and logistic facilities in the entire Czech Republic, there are several principles of effective property management, which need not be universal and transferable. These include for example fixed rates for a certain period of time or a commitment to take a specified quantity of energy.

Property management means in a nutshell the entire care of the building and tenants, care of contractors in the field of facility management, cleaning, security and so on. Property managers are often responsible for communicating with potential new tenants as well. "It is

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