Hong Kong : CBRE to provide NABERS assessment for commercial buildings

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NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System), a national rating system that measures the environmental performance of buildings in Australia, is now being adopted in Hong Kong – thanks to CBRE’s Asia Pacific Sustainability team securing the industry-first contract to be carried out in Greater China.

The NABERS rating tool will be used to assess 143,000 sq. m. of selected commercial assets from Hong Kong’s real estate investment trust firm Link REIT’s portfolio, aimed to benchmark building performance as well as to identify energy saving opportunities and help improve efficiency.

There will be nine shopping centers rated by CBRE in several locations. Features to be assessed will range from floor layout, opening hours, energy consumption, to car park provisions and vacancy rates. With more than one million square meters of retail space, Link REIT is Hong Kong’s first trusted real estate investment and the largest in Asia in terms of market capitalization.

According to Tim Shen, CBRE’s Director of Sustainability Asia, the pilot project reflects the growing number of owners and fund managers in Asia seeking to verify the sustainability performance of their portfolios, largely due to the substantial demand from institutional investors.

Calvin Lee Kwan, Link REIT’s General Manager of Sustainability, asserted that the company has implemented a comprehensive and ambitious energy management strategy since 2010 resulting in more than 26% energy consumption reduction. He added that the NABERS tool will allow them to assess the energy performance of their assets using a tried and tested methodology and to benchmark internal and external asset performance as well.

Emma McMahon, CBRE’s Director of Sustainability Pacific, noted that the sustainability contract will mark the first project to be rated by the NABERS scheme in the real estate market and is one step closer to the internationalization of energy benchmarking in the sector.

She explained that the pilot project will be quite apparent in establishing the framework for NABERS in different markets, understanding the prevailing challenges it presents (rules needed to be adapted to suit that market) and where there needs to be more investigation, where it aims to improve the environmental performance of the real estate market.

Carlos Flores, NABERS National Program Manager, NABERS will be looking forward to keep working with industry leaders such as CBRE and Link REIT to explore further opportunities for international collaboration and mutual learning.

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