RE wants ‘green’ badge of honor

More real estate firms are seeking certification schemes that recognize building sustainability

A growing number of real estate firms are in favor of certification schemes to validate their work on sustainability, according to a recent survey of more than 100 European real estate investors conducted by law firm DLA Piper. The findings come at a time of increasing environmental-related demands made by building occupiers.

The survey found that 88 percent of real estate fund managers now consider green certification to be important when developing or investing in new buildings.

However, real estate managers feel a number of country-specific certification schemes available is creating confusion about which holds the most water with the market.

Real estate GPs want a single certification scheme that allows a “level playing field” for comparisons and benchmarking, according to Olaf Schmidt, co-head of DLA Piper's real estate practice.

“Our survey confirms that investors – particularly those involved with cross-border transactions – would welcome a harmonization of certification standards to facilitate further take up of sustainable practices and engender transparency of performance standards,” said Schmidt.

The current certification scheme frontrunner is the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM), with almost two-thirds of respondents saying they favored this particular scheme.