|Posted on 6 February, 2016 at 8:45|
Our way of life is killing us. Our buildings consume over 40% of our energy and resources and their use represents 70% of our total consumption (Rabin 2005). He further stressed that the environmental damage caused in the last hundred years is a direct result from how our buildings are built. Architects, designers, and all building professionals are in a position to affect great change on our environment, more so, than any other group, since our buildings are responsible for most of the damage. “Green building"(also known as "sustainable," "ecological," and "eco-designed") is a way of looking at buildings in terms of reducing energy use, conserving water, improving indoor air quality, and reducing dependence on our natural resources. Although the basic concepts for green building have been around for decades, it has only been in the last few years that we have seen this explosive growth in the greening of the construction industry'' (Rabin 2005). Buildings account for one-sixth of the world's fresh water withdrawals, one-quarter of its wood harvest, and two-fifths of its material and energy flows. (Roodman,& Lenssen,1995).Therefore it's the duty of a reasonable property industry to balance environmental, social and economic issues to ensure a viable and valuable industry for future generations. DEFINITION OF A SUISTAINABLE PROPERTY. There are many definitions of sustainable property that exist, but none is entirely satisfactory. Sustainable buildings may be equated to ‘green buildings’. For example Kats (2003) regards to them as synonymous and as buildings that “use key resources like energy, water, materials and land more efficiently than buildings that are just built to code.” This according to Sayce and Ellison (2004) implies an environmental interpretation of sustainability; implicit within Kats’ definition is that sustainability is a moving goal with ‘green’ or sustainable being reserved for those that are built ‘beyond compliance natural light and indoor air quality. Additionally United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development 1987 gives the definition of a sustainable development as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Green buildings, (according to Governor’s Green Government Council) are designed, constructed and operated to achieve sustainability, water efficiency, energy, resources and indoor environment quality goals A green building is one whose construction and lifetime of operation assure the healthiest possible environment while representing the most efficient and least disruptive use of land, water, energy and resources.
Sustainability has not only been described by many research as an investment for the future but sustainable property can as well contribute to the wellbeing of inhabitants, according to Wittneben,(2014), Real Estate is responsible for the majority of Europe’s carbon emissions. He further stated that the real estate industry will be at the forefront of any reduction in carbon and other sustainability improvements. Wittneben (2014).''With most of us spending more than 90% of our time indoors, green building is the healthy, common sense choice for a better life. In traditional construction, the quality of our indoor environment is often far more polluted than outdoor one due to the building materials, inadequate lighting, and a variety of other variables''. (Rabin 2005) Another need for sustainability in real estate is the change in the lease pattern, in a survey carried out in UK Sayce and Ellison (2004) reported that the change in the lease pattern or rather the relationship change in landlord and tenants over time calls for sustainability in property sector. In the report Sayce and Ellison (2004), Lawrence (2005) stated that the standard commercial lease has long been constructed to reduce risk for the landlord. Two particular provision according to them, combined with lease length have been important; First the landlord usually placed liability on tenants on Repairs (including structural repairs and any upgrade required by law); this on the side of the landlord will protect him or her on any deficiency in the building during the lease. Secondly according to their survey report, the regular upward on rent review as a clause which ensures that owners are protected against the fall in the value of the building during lease and can only be discovered at the end of the lease that the property value have depreciated because of its failure to meet the requirement of the new tenant under legislation. DRIVERS OF SUSTAINABLE PROPERTY Legislation: The treat of legislation according to Sarah, S., Louise, E., & Philip, P., (2005), in a survey conducted across UK has been described as the first driver of sustainability in property sector, in the report summary, treat by legislators in various countries (UK for instance) has been observed to be the key driver in changing attitude of investors to possibly understand the financial worth implication of sustainability agenda. Furthermore, the last decade has seen substantial shift in attitudes towards sustainability, not only has sustainable development gained more attention within political debate between national and international level but has also become an important part of co-operate agenda in development economics. (Sarah, S., Louise, E., & Philip, P., (2005)). ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Energy efficiency is another driver for sustainability in property sector, because the ability for a building to perform or rather its efficiency is limited to how the building is designed, engineered constructed, operated and maintained. In order to achieve greater energy efficiency in a building depends on so many factors which include the building envelop, system types, energy end use, e. plugs loads and the operation of the building with regards to maintenance practices. (IFMA 2010). In their report of survey in 2010, IFMA foundation established that simple strategies to reduce heating and cooling loads include appropriate insulation, optimizing window glazing area, minimizing the filtration of air outside and the use of opaque roofing materials. Depending on how much daylight penetrates through the window into the interior space, the report mentioned that using common design features will give room for the enhancement of natural daylight into the building through the use of skylight, light shelves tubular day lighting and other means of day light harvesting will not only sustain a building but will also reduce the cost of energy consumption. (IMFA 2010) Similarly, in comparison IMFA report in 2010 on energy efficiency of a building has assumed that the energy cost of a building can be driven by so many factors among which are: Geographical, Climate and building type location. Even though energy cost has been argued by many professionals to the most controlled able expenses of any property unlike other expenses like taxes and insurance but if sustainability in this sector find its way globally we would not only pay less on energy consumption we might have a lot energy saved for the generations to come. For instance CEBECS (2003) in their energy saving survey arrived at the consumption of energy is about $1.09 per sq. ft. for all US building, $11.73 per sq/m for office building, various survey in US on energy saving assumed prices of energy has increased over the last 7years. CIOCHETI & McGowan (2009) rated the average commercial energy cost to have increased by 25% since 2000.Hence it's clear that the energy efficiency in a building is a pressing issue globally which according to IMFA (2010) report confirmed that building and industry energy consumption is growing even more intense and there is a call for sustainability in this regards OCCUPIER: The agitation of occupiers on sustainable homes cannot be overlooked when talking about drivers of sustainability in real estate. Occupiers according to Wittneben (2014) in a survey where over 100 stakeholder in real estate investment participated Emphasized that as liquidity improve on both the investors and occupier market a trend toward sustainability is seeing,. For occupiers as long as energy costs are very small fraction of rental value, they are not likely to be a crucial decision in their selection. See,Y., & TU (2011) in their survey report on Singapore property market have seen occupiers willingness to pay more on sustainable building once delivered and lived in, since they can verify the ''green'' claims by checking the electricity bills which implies that most of the occupiers in Asia, (or in Singapore precisely) are willing to pay for sustainable building after physical delivery and testing of the unit, so on the part of the investor it might likely to have a green lease with conditions if possible. The stand of occupiers would be discussed further in the circle of blame.