The Top Sustainable Real Estate Predictions For 2030


The corona crisis has clearly shown how quickly economic and social framework conditions can change: Many office and commercial properties in downtown Munich are suddenly empty. "If you, as an owner, value stability in your return, you should opt for mixed-use real estate if possible," says Michael Schwaiger, CEO of the Schwaiger Group.

Such a division means that an area or a building is not rented to tenants from one branch or even to a single company. The mixed use bundles different economic and life areas under one roof. There people work, shop, eat and occasionally take advantage of leisure activities.

Such an approach helps property owners in an emergency against break-ins in an industry. Even smaller industrial companies can be part of a mixed use concept. Above all, however, a mix of uses can prevent past urban planning errors. Because: the more diverse the use, the more urban the lifestyle.

2. Revitalization instead of new construction

In order to limit global warming, Germany has also set itself ambitious goals. But while politics and the public have long recognized energy and electricity generation and transport as the main drivers of CO 2 emissions, the construction sector is still underestimated: around 30 percent of direct and indirect emissions and almost 40 percent of energy consumption and even around half of that Waste generation in Germany can be traced back to the building sector. An estimated 220 million tons of earth, stones, bricks, asphalt, tiles, ceramics, slag and ash accumulate in this country every year through the construction and demolition of structures. 

According to experts, the Federal Republic must become CO 2 -neutral by 2035 if it is to make an adequate contribution to achieving the 1.5 degrees Celsius target set in the Paris Climate Agreement. For Schwaiger it is clear: "The most sustainable buildings are those that do not have to be rebuilt. The fact that commercial properties are sometimes demolished after just two and a half decades is completely nonsensical from an energetic point of view." And by the way, the investor saves a lot of money through revitalization.  Around 40 percent of the costs can be saved for maintaining the basic building structure, and when it comes to the CO2 footprint, the savings even add up to 80 to 90 percent.

3. Digitization is transforming the industry and buildings

As the main driver of social and economic change, digitization is influencing the market for office and commercial real estate more than ever. Whether booking systems for office space, intelligent building management technology or networked mobility offers: The functional areas of digital applications range from operational optimization processes using ERP systems to intelligent building technology to increased service orientation through pay-per-use models or plug & play-capable infrastructure components. 

In the future, however, digitization will change the buildings themselves. Whether keyless entry, efficient traffic management systems (smart parking), modern energy management solutions or components with integrated chips: the next level of digitization will change the property itself. "In the future, all the trades in a building will be operated in a holistic and harmonious manner". The basic communication skills of the individual trades are the decisive basis." Comprehensive monitoring, a connection to the self-regulating facilities or the integration of e-charging stations, for example, are only possible if this is given."

Similar to the subject of energy efficiency, the main challenge lies in transforming the real estate portfolio. "The lifespan of buildings is much longer than that of building technology. That is why networked building technology and building automation are topics that are particularly relevant to revitalization," explains the expert. According to a study by EY Real Estate and the Central Real Estate Committee (ZIA), investments in digitization in the real estate industry are steadily increasing. In 2020, a good every fourth company (27 percent) has now invested more than five percent of its annual turnover in digital transformation - almost twice as much as in 2019 (14 percent).

4. Combine ecology with economy in energy consumption

In order to reduce the energy consumption during the ongoing operation of a commercial property, three factors are decisive: proper insulation, the use of renewable energiessuch as photovoltaics or geothermal energy, and intelligent control of digital building technology. The Schwaiger Group itself set standards for the insulation of the outer shell of the Centro Tesoro real estate project in Munich: There the company is 40 percent above the legal requirements. "The best heating technologies only work with high-quality building insulation,".

In addition to geothermal energy, photovoltaics is also becoming increasingly important in the interests of a building industry that is as climate-friendly as possible. Green electricity can be produced for tenants on the roof of a commercial property.

5. The mobility concept is becoming more and more important

Anyone who is promoting the renovation of a residential complex or a new building cannot avoid a sensible mobility concept. "E-charging stations as well as bike sharing stations and additional bicycle parking spaces are one component," says Michael. For everyone who comes by bike, there are ideally showers available in office buildings.

"Mobility concepts fundamentally determine the attractiveness of real estate in five or ten years", Michael Schwaiger is convinced. For him it is clear: "A house without charging stations for e-cars and e-bikes will in future be like an apartment without internet." In addition, the expert sees the networking of offers on the rise. Display boards in the foyer with the displayed departure times for public transport can also improve mobility on site.

6. Health for people - and commercial property

Good and healthy food on site is part of every commercial property today, so that employees feel comfortable.  

In addition, catering concepts in the district reduce avoidable environmental pollution through delivery services. In addition to on-site fitness studios, the buildings themselves will encourage fitness. Sustainability not only applies to the building, but also more than ever for employees in the future."

Article first written on Shwaiger Group Website.

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