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Local Matters / Changing Landscape

Going green: commercial buildings in France get rated on eco-friendly performance


Real estate database specialist IPD recently published its key indicators of technological and environmental performance in eco-conscious “green” buildings. What can these performance measures tell us about real estate trends?

IPD recently published a joint study with the Scientific Center for Building Technology, based on four years’ worth of data collected from French commercial property: office buildings, stores, service centers, factories, data centers, research and development centers and warehouses. The purpose of these indicators is to establish a way to measure environmental performance, which translates to strategic energy savings for property holders. The five metrics in the study were energy consumption, energy source, CO2 emissions, water and waste.

Energy Consumption

In 2011, French office buildings had an average energy consumption of 234 kWh/m2 net surface area. The high-end, upscale building that heats and cools its office spaces and houses more technological equipment consumed more energy than the standard, Haussmannian-style office buildings with less equipment and fewer occupants.  However, newer, high-tech offices rated the most energy efficient, despite a large amount of technical equipment. Data centers were by far the most ravenous energy consumers, with 2,377 kWh/m2 net surface area. IPD analysis shows that in recent years, more and more buildings are seeing their performance improve, thanks to green technology. These high-tech offices have now surpassed the performance of standard buildings, with this trend proving that the marketplace is leaning toward new generation buildings.

Water and Waste

On average, Paris buildings consume 390 L/m2 of water — about 2.3 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water per year. In terms of waste, the average occupant consumes a little less than a ream of paper per day. Data centers are once again the biggest consumers, their cooling systems gobbling 951 L/m2. Thankfully, improvements in water conservation and waste reduction have led to an average savings of 20% in the last four years.

Energy Performance Diagnostics

The latest official Energy Performance Diagnostics by type are unflattering for real estate in general. On a scale from A to G, where A is the most environmentally friendly and G is the least, carbon emissions were between C and E, and energy consumption levels were between E and G. Nonetheless, French buildings scored well with regard to carbon emissions, compared to its European counterparts.

These results give an idea of where the main problems lie, and in turn suggest a strategy for individual owners to improve energy performance. Better energy performance ultimately equtes with higher energy savings. Older buildings, while perhaps not well-equipped enough to support a high-tech research lab, can be outfitted with green technology that will save owners money, and save much-needed energy for everyone.

Read more at: IPD

Photo credit: pabuilders


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