Development of existing buildings - crucial for a sustainable real estate industry
“80 per cent of the building stock used in 2050 already exists. This is where the property industry's climate footprint must be reduced,” says Daniela Grotenfelt, Group Sustainability Director at Newsec.
17. LOKAKUUTA 2023
▪ 2 Lukuaika
Daniela is a trained architect with solid expertise in working with sustainability in the construction and property industry. She has assisted large companies throughout the Nordic region with everything from energy optimisation, certification processes and risk analyses to social issues related to development projects and production.
"The Nordic countries have had different approaches and initiatives in their sustainability work, but the sustainability challenges are the same in all countries. International frameworks and requirements have also brought the countries closer together. Climate change, the EU taxonomy and the UN Sustainable Development Goals affect us all, so there are many benefits to working together and learning from our neighbours' progress," says Daniela.
There is a need to recognise potential in existing properties and develop and utilise existing properties as much as possible. Sometimes buildings have to be demolished for various reasons, but with more innovation and adaptation to new needs, existing buildings can be repurposed instead of building new ones. This will be key in reducing the property industry's footprint.
"80 per cent of the properties that will be used in 2050 already exist, and it's crucial that we take good care of them. We must ensure that the properties are profitable, and that they are used and operated in a sustainable way so that they remain attractive in the future. The better we take care of what has already been built, the smaller the footprint we will leave behind," Daniela says and continues:
"If we are innovative and technically smart, we can go a long way. With the right choice of materials, the property lasts longer and ages beautifully. Instead of temporary solutions, we should look at property in a longer perspective and think about what it means if the property is to stand for 200 years. At the same time, it is important that we learn to recognise the qualities and values of modernist buildings, as most of our existing buildings are from the 1960s and later. This will be important if we are to be as sustainable as possible, avoid demolition and utilise what has already been built.”
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