The Square in Luxembourg given first HQE certification for building already in use (LU)

The Square, owned by EuroSelect 16, one of the real estate funds managed by IVG Private Funds Management GmbH, and managed by Property Partners, has received the first 'NF Bâtiments Tertiaires en exploitation et utilisation – Démarche HQE' certification issued by Certivéa in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and internationally for an existing building.

The real estate industry is today responsible for a quarter of the world's carbon dioxide production and almost 40% of global energy consumption. The use of buildings accounts for 80% of this impact.

In 2012 it is easy to construct an ecological building. The real challenge is raising the efficiency of existing buildings in Luxembourg (constituting office stock totaling 3.3 million m²). Should they be demolished, rebuild or renovated to reduce their environmental impact? Should a building like The Square, which was built in 2003, be modernized?

Property Partners, the leading building manager in Luxembourg, is in the position to identify economically sound alternatives. The company is already committed to a sustainable development approach and has developed a clear long-term vision on property management under mandate. As a consequence, it has been able to persuade IVG, owner of The Square, to reposition its building on the market by securing environmental certification.

This will make the building more attractive to potential tenants and first and foremost persuade existing tenants to renew their lease.

For the project, IVG and Property Partners took the decision to use the services of a company with proven expertise. PWC Luxembourg was tasked with supporting the project carriers in their pursuance of HQE certification, which was selected because of its demanding criteria and targets that necessitate permanent interaction between owner, property manager and all other parties involved in the site (including tenants and service providers).

After an exhaustive energy audit and a few months devoted to optimizing the technical aspects of the building and implementing key procedures, IVG and Property Partners achieved their goal when French certification body Certivéa approved the admission audit for The Square.

This benchmark certification, issued for five years, is a guarantee of the environmental performance of The Square and the comfort and health of its occupants. It is also a guarantee that the building will be managed in an energy efficient way, unlike other office buildings of the same generation on an increasingly competitive market.
Committed users day to day

The NF Bâtiments Tertiaires en exploitation – Démarche HQE certification is proof that a building is comfortable, healthy and more environmentally friendly, with 'partners' that are committed to a process of permanent improvement.

Performance in all these aspects is reviewed annually during the validity of the certification by an independent company.

The owner, property manager and the 2,800 tenants work on a daily basis to reduce energy consumption and so carbon emissions as part of a full-fledged sustainable development policy. This permanent interaction is based on socially responsible behavior, which it enhances and improves in both professional and private life by building on best practices.

Stephen Prevot of the Immeubles - Chantiers et Techniques spéciales department of Banque Internationale à Luxembourg SA, a tenant at The Square, is completely behind the initiative. "As a user, this HQE certification project has opened our eyes to best environmental practices, which we have already adopted at our bank for communication, management and purchasing policy.

"It has also made us aware of the various targets we need to meet to improve our environmental behavior. With this in mind, we will endeavor to bolster this certification in the future by adopting new practices and strengthening existing procedures."

Mario Libonati, Head of Facility Management Luxembourg at Clearstream, says: "We are delighted that our Luxembourg main office has now been HQE certified. At D

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