32 (127) 2017
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Energy & Environment

On the road to more eco-friendly warehouses

by Kamil Szymański, associate director, Industrial Agency, Savills
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In recent years, interest in certified industrial buildings has been growing.

An increasing number of companies pay attention to lowering the negative effect buildings they rent have on the environment. This is especially true for international corporations which permanently integrate sustainable development into their own philosophy, shaping the company’s identity.

Once green certified office buildings have become a standard in the real estate market, the eco-friendly trend entered the industrial market as well. Tenants who take into account the effect a building has on the environment expect the developer to provide a green certificate. The most popular green certification systems in the industrial market are the British  BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) and the American LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards.

To meet the constantly evolving needs of tenants, developers ensure that newly constructed warehouses are built in accordance with sustainable development policies. Companies such as SEGRO, Prologis, Point Park Properties, and White Star Real Estate are on course to fulfil the eco-friendly demands of their clients. What is more, in already existing buildings, some property managers are making efforts to implement green solutions that improve the energy efficiency of the warehouse.

The profitability of environmentally friendly technologies causes a growing awareness among tenants and the will of developers to invest in green solutions. Eco-friendly technology makes the building more cost-effective and increases its value to a potential investor and hence influences the price of the investment when it comes to selling.

Currently in Poland there are 39 green certified industrial buildings, according to the data provided by Polish Green Building Council (PLGBC). Not an impressive number compared to the 271 certified office buildings, however the industrial sector is the fastest-growing real estate market in Poland with a year-on-year growth rate of certified objects at 63 %. On the regional scale Poland will soon be able to match the Czech Republic, where 441 certified buildings are currently located. As for now, Poland owns 409, which places us ahead of such countries as Romania (97) and Hungary (94), Slovakia (34) and Ukraine (4).

One of the reasons behind the increasing popularity of LED (light-emitting diode) lightning systems is the market-wide tendency to employ green technological solutions to optimise costs. Lightning is an important part of fixed costs and as such, it should be optimised. Using LED lights create lowers the energy use, and reduces maintenance costs because LED light bulbs need to be replaced far less frequently than traditional ones.

Nowadays in Poland LED light has become the standard solution commonly applied throughout the industrial real estate market.  Tenants should expect that industrial space currently available for rent is equipped with LED lights. To meet the market's technical requirements, industrial developers even replace lighting systems in already existing buildings.

Recently, SEGRO replaced all the internal lighting its logistics parks in Poland, a project that lasted six months. The developer expects to save 30% of lightning costs in comparison to traditional lightning solutions thanks to the installation of nearly 3,500 LED luminaires.

Yet the growing interest of tenants in green industrial construction, eco-friendly and energy saving solutions goes far beyond LED lights. However, for most businesses, changing to LED light is the first step on the way to more environmentally friendly and more cost-effective warehouses.

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