Our monthly sustainability in the built world roundup looks at the latest news, updates, insights and analysis from the industry and tracks the rapidly changing world of commercial real estate from a large contributor of carbon emissions to a solution to the climate crisis.
A/O PropTech becomes the first venture capital firm to join the World Economic Forum Global Innovators Community. Having launched in 2019 with a €250 million evergreen fund to invest in technology companies disrupting the built world, A/O has become one of the most active specialist PropTech investors in Europe, focussing on the most promising startups tackling sustainability in the built world and mitigating real estate’s environmental impact.
A/O Proptech CEO Gregory Dewerpe says “I am delighted to be invited by the World Economic Forum to join the Global Innovators Community, it is a validation of our continued focus and vision to back the transformation of the built world and it gives us a global canvas to bring Proptech to the fore and build global networks to advance change from within. Building a different kind of VC firm is a challenge, – being the first VC firm joining WEF as a global innovator tells us we are on the right path. Companies of the future must do well by doing good and we work tirelessly in our pursuit of this mission”
CREtech is the intelligence platform for real estate innovation and in the past month, they have announced that in partnership with Fifth Wall (a US-based PropTech VC), they will be launching a climate tech initiative. The Climate platform will be launched in early 2021 with the goal of being the leading voice of the real estate industry’s climate commitment by building a community of sustainability and ESG leaders.
The new CREtech Climate platform will be devoted to promoting and educating the real estate community about climate tech by providing daily content newsletters, virtual and physical events, webinars/forums, and market research.
“At Fifth Wall, we’re on a mission to help the real estate industry decarbonize through investments in Climate Tech, and we believe this new endeavor with CREtech is an important step in educating the industry on its path to zero-carbon real estate,” stated Brendan Wallace, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Fifth Wall.
If of interest you can get access first here: https://earlyaccess.cretechclimate.com/
Salford City Council have given the go-ahead to The English Cities Fund for their unique 115,000 sq ft office building, committed to being one of the first office developments in the UK to be ‘net zero in operation. They have not forgotten about whole life and upfront embodied carbon though. During the design stage of the scheme’s a range of embodied carbon assessments were carried out to look at ways to eliminate waste and reduce the building’s whole carbon footprint.
The project will use sustainable materials such as recycled steel for reinforcement, 50% cement replacement for the substructure and 30% cement replacement for the superstructure leading to upfront embodied carbon being reduced down to 770kgCO2/m2 compared with over 1100kgCO2/m2 for an equivalent development. The living façade, as seen in the main image of this post, is not only a stylish biophilic design but also removes air pollutants, including carbon, reduces urban temperatures offering thermal benefits to occupiers, and supports the biodiversity of the area.
John Alker, director of policy and places at the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), said: “It is great to see that the ambitious New Bailey project is planning to achieve UKGBC’s office performance targets and deliver a building that will be net zero in operation.”
Whilst the Salford city mayor, Paul Dennett, said: “It is so important that fossil-free buildings schemes like this one are replicated across the city and is a great step forward in realising our longer term plans to be a carbon neutral city by 2038.”
Learn more about the plans here: https://www.thebusinessdesk.com/northwest/news/2073530-planners-give-green-light-for-ultra-green-building
Incube CEO Rishi Chowdhury calls on Real Estate stakeholders to play their part in reducing embodied carbon in new builds, retrofits and dilapidations in his piece in Estates Gazette. He believes that often embodied carbon contributions get overlooked with most of the innovative PropTech’s focusing on ways to reduce operational carbon. As important as this is he has outlined 3 areas in which commercial property owners and occupiers can also tackle their embodied carbon contributions. This is through, material sourcing, reducing waste both in manufacturing and onsite during a build (which also reduces transport), and circular fit-outs (breakdown and reuse at end of lease).
You can learn more in the full article here: https://www.egi.co.uk/news/spurring-a-green-recovery-across-all-stages-of-the-built-world/
That’s your lot for Jan, we’ll be collating more of the latest sustainability in the built world stories during Feb and share the update at the beginning of March. Do share with us in the comments anything you think we may have missed and make sure to sign up to our newsletter below to get the sustainability in the built world roundup in your inbox each month.
Learn more about how Incube is supporting property owners and occupiers reduce their carbon footprint and transform floorplans into smart, sustainable & reconfigurable spaces here: Cubes Modular Walls