Pressure from all sides drives the sustainability agenda in construction these days, with landlords having to meet the needs of the regulators, investors, tenants and employees who all demand Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) goals are met.
Hollis is an international, independent real estate consultancy that works with owners, occupiers, developers and funders to help them get more out of their real estate across the property lifecycle. The consultancy employs around 450 people across 24 offices across the UK, and in continental Europe, and offers more than 20 services including project management, measured surveys, due diligence surveys, dilapidations, ESG consultancy and pre-lease advice.
Carl Sablon, Director in the Milton Keynes office and Head of Industrial, explained:
“The decision owners have to make when a building is old and not in the condition the market requires, is whether to demolish and rebuild, or work with the existing structure. Increasingly, it is recognised that working with what is available is a much better option in terms of carbon footprint.
“We help them decide what their aims are for the building, taking ESG into account. The processes they follow will be looking to help them meet the 2050 net zero carbon targets, and things like charging points in line with the shift to electric vehicles by 2030.
“Funds are seeing pressure from investors, landlords who have to attract tenants, tenants who want to meet their own carbon footprint goals, and a business’s employees, who increasingly want to work in a building that they feel is in line with their own sustainability expectations.”
Each year, as well as continually developing relationships with suppliers who know the products and processes within the supply chain that help deliver carbon footprint reductions, Hollis also has a commitment to graduate recruitment. Each graduate, the company believes, brings new ideas and up-to-the-minute information they’ve been exposed to during their studies, and which they can feed into projects with which they’re involved. In turn, the graduate benefits from being able to work locally as part of an international company, that offers the chance to gain wide experience in a number of disciplines across offices in the UK and abroad.
Hollis has recently completed a project on the Mount Farm Industrial Estate in Bletchley that encompassed a range of innovations that together helped increase the asset’s EPC rating from C to A+, achieved Net Zero Carbon and a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. These included:
LED lights with PIR and daylight sensors that deliver a reduction of 42.2 tons of CO2 each year and an estimated £18,000 reduction annually in energy bills
Conditioning and fresh air ventilation including air source heat pumps, delivering heat recovery of up to 85%
Photovoltaic panels installed on the roof, giving an annual saving of up to £27,000 and a 44-ton reduction of CO2 emissions
Electric vehicle charging points to encourage staff to use electric vehicles
Rainwater harvesting, waterless urinals, self-closing push taps and dual flush cisterns
Carbon neutral carpets and wall surfaces that provide a dirt barrier that reduces pollutants
Cycle shelters, showers and changing facilities
Bird boxes and insect habitats
Tom Pugh, Head of Hollis’ Milton Keynes office and Measured Surveys team, said:
“Our first involvement in this project was a measured survey to establish what we had to work with, what needed to be done and what could be done.
“There’s no point in making changes that don’t deliver what the client needs, and so we have to plan what will work throughout the lifetime of the building.
“We have our own bank of specialists to draw from. In any project we could have six or seven different specialists having input depending on what is needed, the Solar PV team may be involved, for instance. The client has one point of contact, and we call upon expertise from within, from people who already know how we work.
“It’s a holistic approach, working collaboratively within Hollis and with trusted suppliers who have an in-depth knowledge of their sector, to meet clients’ needs.”
Angy Benitz, Portfolio Manager at Savills Investment Management, who asset manage the Mount Farm Industrial Estate, said:
“Hollis provided a valuable service in project managing the refurbishment of this industry asset to meet the highest sustainability standards. The team were responsive, professional and knowledgeable and we managed to successfully achieve Net Zero Carbon and BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.”
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