The Green Building Handbook: a reference work for the real estate industry
Tougher energy efficiency requirements in the real estate sector mean that development projects and upgrades to existing buildings are now significantly more complex. In addition, sustainability has become an important strategic issue for real estate holders as they look for ways of ensuring their long-term success. Those were the two key aspects that prompted Peter Mösle and the other contributors to the Green Building Handbook to bring together current insights and solutions in this over 600-page reference work.
Definition of key terms
The handbook begins by defining key terms, and in doing so incorporates a variety of different perspectives. A property auditor has a different view of green building than, for example, a tax law expert or preservationist. This section also charts the entire lifecycle of a property, from planning and construction to maintenance and refurbishment through to deconstruction. The associated legal and technical issues are subsequently described in a separate chapter. Examples include the strengths and weaknesses of the energy performance certificate, as well as various aspects of German legislation aimed at promoting renewable energy in the heating sector, and much more.
Planning and delivering sustainability
Chapter three is dedicated to the question of how sustainability can be efficiently planned and delivered. In this chapter, the editors make a clear distinction between new development of individual buildings or entire ensembles and upgrades to existing properties. Among the real-world examples of successful refurbishments are the Dreischeibenhaus office building in Düsseldorf, the Nordzucker site in Braunschweig and the The Seven project in Munich. The latter involved conversion of a former heat and power plant into modern owner-occupied apartments. Other important points, such as green procurement and ensuring a legally secure framework for sustainable building, are also addressed.
Green leases and sustainable building operation
Chapter four deals with green leases and outlines the various aspects of this topical issue. In a separate chapter, the authors then look at sustainability in the context of building operation. They describe a modern approach to sustainable property management and also consider the situation with regard to entire property portfolios. Here, they document the sustainability indicators that allow a realistic picture of the current status of a real estate portfolio and show how a meaningful benchmarking system can be implemented to enable comparison with competitors.
Sustainable real estate investment and the future of green building
Chapter six analyses the marketability of sustainable properties. Adopting the perspective of a real estate valuation expert, the authors set out the criteria against which the marketability of sustainably designed properties is measured. Chapter seven consists of just under 100 pages and deals with investment and finance aspects. One of the areas addressed in this chapter is the regulatory framework for real estate funds in relation to sustainability. A practice-based report by Union Investment also shows the specific impact on real estate investment managers of incorporating sustainability criteria into the general business strategy. Finally, chapters eight and nine take a look at the future development of green building and once again cite a range of real-life examples, ranging from construction projects in Sydney and Luxembourg to Frankfurt.
Available in German only, the “Green Building Handbook: Legislation, Technology, Architecture” is published by De Gruyter at a price of EUR 99.95 and can be purchased here.