How important is sustainability in the commercial property industry?

How important is sustainability in the commercial property industry

At a glance:

  • Sustainable commercial buildings are a great initiative to minimise environmental issues like climatic change and landfill.
  • Sustainability in commercial buildings offers several environmental, financial, and social benefits discussed below.

Environmental awareness is indispensable for any business today. Its impact on commercial real estate in Australia is palpable. As countries worldwide remain highly conscious and motivated to tackle the challenges of climate change, Australia is equally playing its part in it. The government aims to achieve net-zero carbon buildings by 2030, a great leap toward achieving sustainability in commercial buildings. In this article, we took a closer look at what sustainability in the commercial property industry is and its benefits for investors and owners.

What is Sustainability in Commercial Real Estate?

The commercial construction process is gradually swelling each year in Australia. With the increase in commercial buildings, it is worthwhile to consider sustainability in commercial buildings. Sustainability in commercial real estate entails designing, constructing, and using commercial buildings, which helps minimise environmental impact. The aim of having sustainable commercial buildings is to fulfil the commercial needs of the present generation while equally being thoughtful of the ages to come.

There are several ways to make a commercial building sustainable, such as

  • using renewable resources like green building materials in construction
  • upgrading to energy-efficient appliances
  • investing in on-site renewable energy sources like solar systems
  • in times of modification, green rehabbing older buildings to make them eco-friendly and energy-efficient

The Significance of Sustainability in the Commerical Real Estate Industry

The concerns about climate change and environmental degradation continue to grow worldwide, increasing the demand for sustainable practices in sectors like real estate. Sustainable commercial buildings are designed and constructed to minimise their negative impact on the environment and maximise their contribution towards a healthier and more livable society. Here are some benefits associated with sustainable commercial buildings:

Environmental Benefits of Sustainable Commerical Buildings

Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions: Traditional commercial buildings significantly contribute to greenhouse gas emissions through energy consumption and the formation of excess wastage. Sustainable commercial buildings incorporate energy-efficient technologies that help in reducing energy consumption. These buildings use renewable energy sources, like solar panels, and implement energy-efficient lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. By reducing energy consumption, sustainable buildings help in decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Conservation of natural resources: Sustainable commercial buildings focus on resource efficiency, including the preservation of water, land, and building equipment. Moreover, these buildings use recyclable materials, which reduce wastage. This reduces the use of virgin resources, which helps conserve natural resources. By doing so, sustainable buildings help to preserve the ecosystem and reduce the environmental impact of resource extraction.

Mitigation of climate change impacts: Sustainable commercial buildings incorporate rainwater harvesting and water-efficient plumbing features, which increase water efficiency. Additionally, using green roofs, permeable surfaces, natural lighting, and ventilation reduces building energy consumption and reliance on energy-intensive systems. These features make commercial buildings resilient and adaptable to changing climatic conditions and also minimise their contribution to climate change. By mitigating climatic impacts, these buildings increase the viability of urban areas.

Economic benefits of sustainable commercial buildings

Increased property value: The increasing adherence to sustainable commercial buildings will make traditional buildings look like outcasts. There is a growing market demand for these sustainable properties, while the government is equally promoting a gradual shift to sustainable buildings in Australia. This will have a direct impact on the property valuation of buildings. Property owners and investors who have invested in sustainable commercial buildings will likely make greater profits.

Also, tenants in commercial real estate are looking for commercial spaces with sustainable features as the topic of environmental awareness continues to move people from different walks of life. As a result, sustainable property owners can have higher rental yields and resale values than traditional buildings.

Lower operating costs: Sustainable commercial buildings support money saving, i.e., maintain lower operating costs. Green fixtures in these buildings, like green roofs, solar power systems, and rainwater harvesting, reduce dependence on energy-intensive systems which costs a lot of money. Thus these features help lower the operating cost of buildings over their lifespan.

Improved tenant satisfaction and retention: Having sustainable features in commercial buildings supports a healthier and more comfortable environment for occupants. And it is a common practice to live and work in a healthier and more comfortable environment. This leads to tenant satisfaction, which leads to increased tenant retention. Overall, sustainable commercial buildings reduce vacancy risks and ensure a stable income stream for the owners.

Social benefits of sustainable commercial buildings

Improved indoor environmental quality: Sustainable commercial buildings prioritise the health and well-being of the occupants by providing a healthier indoor environment. Such buildings have ample natural lighting, efficient ventilation, and other green features that promote the health and overall well-being of the occupants. All this leads to occupant satisfaction and can enhance employee productivity.

Community engagement and social responsibility: Sustainable commercial buildings often become the focal point of positive changes in a community. Such spaces can provide educational opportunities for the community, workshops, and events to promote sustainable practices and raise awareness of environmental issues.