The future lies in the existing building stock

Operating sustainable shopping centers

Future project: Sustainability in the building stock – An article by Maria Hill, Head of Sustainability, ECE Projektmanagement

A central objective of European policy is to reduce the heating requirements of the building stock over the long term. By 2050, buildings should be as close to climate-neutral as possible. This means that buildings will have very low energy requirements, and the residual requirement will be met mainly by renewable forms of energy.

Statistics show that the potential for reducing the energy requirements of existing buildings is very high:

60% of German commercial properties are over 25 years old, and the figure for all existing building stock is even higher. In the seven largest German cities (in terms of office space) there is 77.4 million m2 of existing space, and just 1.15 million m2 in new-builds. The implementation of sustainable measures for existing buildings is complicated, however, and will require intensive focus on the substance.

This is sufficient cause for ECE to take a more active approach to the portfolio properties it manages. In addition to measures such as ECO Online, green electricity and new lighting technologies, it aims to save even more CO2 in its existing centers. The objective is to ensure that existing properties are economically and environmentally sustainable in the future as well, which is why the ECE Sustainability Team has developed the concept for the future project “Sustainability in the building stock”.

In November 2010, an interdisciplinary team was formed to work with an external partner to draw up a “Handbook for Center Operation”, a model SWOT analysis of existing centers and a sustainability benchmark.

The ongoing refinement of an all-encompassing sustainability strategy within ECE is detailed in the handbook entitled “Sustainability in building stock – practised by sustainable shopping centers”. The handbook is intended as a supplement to the manual “Sustainable planning, construction and operation of shopping centers”, which was published in 2010. It provides center managers and technical managers on site with assistance and practical recommendations, based on best practice examples, for the sustainable operation of shopping centers. The first training sessions and specialist presentations for staff based on this handbook have been taking place since autumn 2011.

In addition to raising awareness among staff in the centers, the handbook and training will contribute to creating common environmental standards across all ECE (and as such all Deutsche EuroShop) centers.

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