Adrian confirmed that, in the current Midlands office market, sustainable office buildings do not yet necessarily command an increase in rental value, which is good news for office occupiers. However, “as time moves on and legislation increases, it is becoming more desirable for tenants to take occupancy of an office building that has green credentials, rather than one that does not.”
Speaking in front of a 60-strong audience at the FORE offices in Solihull – one of the most sustainable new office builds in the West Midlands – the panel discussed the benefits of green office space design, considering the impact on efficiency as well as the effect on employee well-being and staff retention.
Professor Mark Gaterell, professor of sustainable construction in the department of the built environment at Coventry University, told the audience that it is a myth that going green is a more expensive property solution.
“Most of this stuff makes good economic sense. The idea that a building that performs well has to cost a lot more in capital terms isn’t necessarily true. It isn’t just about altruism. You can deliver on the bottom line as long as you are measuring things in the right way,” he said.
Martin Hill, a development director at BAM Properties, for whom KWB acts as commercial property agents, concurred. He said: “We have a policy of developing the most sustainable office buildings that we can produce. When larger corporates come along, they more than likely have a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy which we would hope would help us to do a deal with them. And, in the investment market, an office building that is effectively future-proof will certainly maintain its value.”
Offering reduced running costs and significant savings in energy and utility expenditure, the panel demonstrated that pursuing a ‘green’ strategy in office space design needn’t be a more expensive solution and, in the long term, can prove to be a sound investment.
For more information, or advice on how you can make your workplace more sustainable and deliver reduced office running costs, please contact Adrian Southall of KWB Workplace on 0121 233 2330.