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Green Buildings Gain Ground

By on Oct 21, 2009 in Office, Residential

Momentum is growing around the world for certification of the environmental efficiency of buildings. Although Thailand has not yet adopted its’ own certification standards this has not prevented developers from adopting international standards in the absence of a local standard.

This move is in a response to demand particularly in the office market. We believe that more multinational tenants are going to require that the buildings they occupy be environmentally certified. At the present time there are only a limited number of environmentally certified buildings in Asia but once a number of buildings become certified in each market they will have a competitive edge over non certified buildings.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the US certification developed by the US Green Building Certification Institute under the US Green Building Council. Australia has Green Star, Singapore has Green Mark and the UK BREEAM.

In the absence of a Thai certification standard some Thai developers are using other countries’ standards.

Millennium Residence a condominium under construction in Bangkok due for completion by the end of this year has recently received the Singapore B.C.A. (Building Construction Authority) Green Mark Gold Award the first such award in Thailand.

Millenium Residence

Millenium Residence

The Energy complex a 119,000 square metre office development in Bangkok’s northern corridor is applying for LEED certification as is the Park Ventures office building and hotel development on the corner of Wireless and Ploenchit road.

Energy Complex

Energy Complex

The Park Ventures

The Park Ventures

We believe that once there is a critical mass of office developments with Green Certification in Asia then it will become a significant factor in a tenant’s decision making process.

In Thailand we believe that the process will be demand lead rather than legislated by the authorities. Legislation in terms of building standards will then catch up with demand.

This has happened in the past. Before 1992 high rise buildings in Thailand did not require sprinklers as part of their fire suppression systems. Multi-national tenants however demanded that buildings have sprinklers and so developers constructed office buildings with sprinklers before they were legally required to do so because of tenant demand.

This is likely to happen with environmental certification where tenants will start to insist on a building meeting a certain environmental standard.

This will start in the office sector but multi-national companies may also start to require environmental certification for other properties that they use such as hotels.

We are advising any developer considering constructing an office building in Thailand today whose target market is multi-national or large Thai corporations to seriously consider obtaining environmental certification.

The next step will be the retrofitting of existing buildings to obtain environmental certification. This is already happening in other countries.

CB Richard Ellis is the sole leasing agent for the Iconic Empire State building in New York. The owner is currently undertaking a retrofit programme for the building with the aim of securing LEED gold certification by 2013 and reducing energy costs by 38%.

Empire State Building

Empire State Building

The 102 storey Empire State building was completed in 1931.

Aliwassa has been the Managing Director οf CBRE Thailand for a number of years. As a Thai national, Aliwassa is extremely knowledgeable about the sale of property in Thailand, specifically large scale high value condominium developments largely in Bangkok.

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