Green office properties to grow by 61% (FR)

Completions of French office properties certified to HQE (Haute Qualité Environnementale) standard will increase by 61% in 2010 representing some 650,000 m², according to Savills. This is compared to a rise of 27% pa in 2008 and 44% pa in 2009.

The international real estate advisor reports that following the open multi-party debate that reunites representatives of national and local government and organizations in France known as Grenelle de l'environnement, which will enforce green standards, investors have shown increasing appetite for newly developed HQE and BBC (Bâtiment Basse Consommation) buildings. Savills finds that such is the demand, property companies solely dedicated to green investments are emerging including newly created PFO2. Meanwhile an increasing number of developers including Bouygues, Hines, Nexity and Cogedim are realising green buildings. The total stock of green buildings in France comprises 233 offices totalling 4.36 million m².

Savills reports the majority of green office buildings exceed 5,000 m² and are located in the suburbs of Paris in Plaine Saint Denis, La Défense or in the Western Crescent showcasing headquarters of companies including Microsoft, Forclum and France Télécom.

Lydia Brissy, associate director of Savills European Research, says: "Corporate responsibility policies are encouraging many occupiers to choose environmental certified properties. Whilst there is no indication at present that rents for green buildings are higher than standard office properties, potential growth in capital values can be achieved through a decline in operating costs. In addition, due to a preference for green buildings we estimate that over 50% are leased before completion thus reducing the risk of vacancy."

ADEME (Ministry of Environement) states French offices represent 40% of the total final consumption of energy and 25% of all gas emission, averaging consumption of between 100 and 110 Kw/h for new premises compared to around 250 Kw/h for existing office buildings. In 2011 all new offices will have to meet low energy consumption standards (<50Kw/h per year per sqm), by 2012 all office projects submitted for planning will have to adhere to BBC (Bâtiment Basse Consommation) and as at 2020 all new buildings will be required to meet positive energy standards.

Magalie Mollet, associate of Savills Paris Research, says: "The trend for green properties is beyond offices. We are aware of 50 retail projects, which have applied for environmental certification in order to save energy levels by up to 50% but also benefit from potential increases in capital values. There is also a trend towards green leases whereby landlords and tenants make a joint commitment to improve environmental quality of a property, ultimately to achieve cost savings."

Source: Savills

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