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Green building solutions offer longer-term advantages over conventional approach

By SeeNews team

Boris Borisov, CEO, Sopharma Properties REIT

Boris Borisov, CEO, Sopharma Properties REIT

Q: One of the few big real estate projects that were not put on ice during the economic crisis was Sopharma Business Towers which is due to open doors on October 6. What is the key to the successful completion of a real estate project?

A: Good planning, innovative thinking and last but not least – location. It is very important that everyone involved in the project during construction and managing the building after its completion starts working together from the very beginning. The architects, the investor, the real estate consultants and the people involved in the property and facility management need to coordinate their work throughout the whole process. In times of economic crisis, it is necessary to have the financing in full even before the project begins However, the crisis led to lower costs because of falling concrete, steel and equipment prices, and thanks to sound planning Sopharma Imoti even managed to upgrade some of the project’s lesser details with more expensive parts and still stay within budget.

Q: Do you consider investment in a green office building to be riskier or safer than in a conventional one, especially in times of crisis?

A: Investing in a green and sustainable building nowadays is inevitable due to the requirements which appear on the local and international level. The time when green and sustainable buildings will be the accepted standard is not far off, and in that sense the earlier you invest in such a building, the sooner you will start reaping the benefits. The difference between investments in a conventional and a green building is between 10 to 15%, provided that a good management is in place.

Q: What are the main advantages of green architectural solutions?

A: The benefits of ‘green’ construction are two-fold. For investors it means quickly renting out the property and the long period that the investment maintains its value, as well as the return on investment. For the customers it means low maintenance costs and utility bills, a healthy and comfortable environment, and consequently higher productivity, reduced periods of idleness for maintenance or repairs, and easy facility management. The technologies that are used and the building automation make possible saving up to 50% of energy. The amount spent on construction is merely 20% of all the costs incurred throughout the lifetime of a building, which in the long term gives ‘green’ architectural solutions an advantage over conventional construction.

Q: What are the specific green solutions that you applied in Sopharma Business Towers?

A: Redirecting the daylight is one of the most important issues. On a nice clear day, people in the office space should not use any additional artificial light. This is achieved by blinds built in the double glazed facade which are controlled electronically and adjust to the sun. The 7,000-square metre grass roof on the top of the retail centre and, respectively, in the foot of the office buildings is another distinctive feature. It acts as a filter and lowers the temperature during the summer and increases isolation during the winter. It also serves to hold rain water and as an additional soundproofing barrier. Maximum glazing is another feature. Thanks to it, the facade retains the building’s internal energy, plus the glazing brings a sense of space.

Q: Are Sopharma Business Towers certified as green?

A: The certification process is underway. Preliminary data and research shows that Sopharma Business Towers will get a gold certificate by the German Sustainable Building Council, DGNB, standard.

Q: Do you plan to include more green projects in Sopharma Imoti’s portfolio?

A: We are concentrated mainly on our current project. The state of the market will determine the area of our future investments but we will undoubtedly have green projects in our portfolio.