Be it a new build or an existing property – environmental factors always play a major role in real estate management. The recently completed new building at 2 Central Square in Cardiff, Wales, underpins this impressively.
Innovative and profitable real estate solutions in line with global climate protection goals – that is what the investment products of Credit Suisse Asset Management Global Real Estate stand for. What may sound simple in theory can often prove to be a complex challenge in practice. The reality is that each country has its own sustainability standards. That is a challenge for CS REF International, which is active around the world.
Although internationally recognized sustainability labels such as BREEAM, LEED or Energy Star have contributed to a process of harmonization, carbon emission and energy consumption limits are still inconsistent across national borders. Moreover, there is a host of different building regulations. To guarantee a certain degree of comparability, however, specific, measurable consumption data is increasingly being used in the real estate industry as a sustainability indicator in place of labels.
Specific, measurable consumption data is becoming increasingly important as a sustainability indicator.
Marc-Oliver Tschabold, Fund Manager, CS REF International
In view of this situation, Global Real Estate is continuing to develop the energy monitoring it has already established. It will be used in around 20 countries based on the experiences gained from the property portfolio in Switzerland. It involves the use of a system developed together with Siemens Schweiz AG, which records all the relevant energy consumption data of a property – the basis for promptly identifying potential building optimizations.
Sustainability matters – for every property
In addition to optimizing existing plots, the issue of sustainability is also a matter of utmost priority for new buildings. The property at 2 Central Square, in the heart of Cardiff city center, is a prime example of that. The capital of Wales is one of the most dynamic economic centers in the United Kingdom. Once littered with expansive industrial ruins and dilapidated docks, spacious parks and the popular Cardiff Bay have sprung up in recent years. It is no wonder, then, that the approximately 350,000 residents, as well as tourists and business travelers, value the metropolis today for its high quality of life.
Following the successful redesign of the waterfront, the city center is now undergoing a striking change. The driving force is the vision to give the historic heart of Cardiff a unique atmosphere through a mix of modern new buildings. To that end, the Central Square located directly at the train station is being completely redesigned. That project includes the new building at 2 Central Square, which is part of the CS REF International portfolio. The high-class building was designed by Lord Norman Foster, a star architect who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and who was entrusted with the master plan for the redesign of the entire Central Square.
Full occupancy promises high profitability
Completed in fall of 2018, the property covers a little more than 14,000 square meters. It extends across an inviting first floor, eight spacious office floors and an underground parking lot with 31 spaces. The steel frame construction, which is encased in a contemporary glass facade, gives the building an attractive structure both inside and out.
The new building promises high profitability. Aside from the exceptional location directly in the city center, the outstanding build quality and the interesting mix of two prestigious tenants are further success factors. One of these tenants, Hugh James Solicitors, is the largest law firm in Wales. Their lease agreement is valid for 15 years. Cardiff University has committed to a further 10 years. The plot, therefore, will enjoy long-term full occupancy.
BREEAM "Excellent" certificate
The building project also scores highly in matters of sustainability. It was awarded the "Excellent" BREEAM certificate by the Building Research Establishment (BRE). The certification method is applied in 77 countries and is based on UK and European standards. It covers a wide range of environmental and sustainability factors, which attest the low environmental impact of successfully certified real estate. With its BREEAM "Excellent" rating, the 2 Central Square property seamlessly joins a long list of environmentally friendly properties in the CS REF International portfolio. The Exchange is included in that list. The real estate in Vancouver, Canada, which was opened in November 2017, is currently the tallest office building ever to be awarded the platinum certificate for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). This new building therefore underscores CS REF International's efforts to make an active contribution to the achievement of global climate protection goals through sustainable real estate management.