A clearly much too cost-conscious building renovation was completed in Bremen’s largest shopping street in 2008: the heat in the fancy building in Obernstraße (53°04’39.68“N) was literally being thrown out of the window.
During the renovation of the five-floor building, the old single glazed windows in the generously proportioned corridor were not replaced. It was so cold there in winter that the tenants were practically stepping out on the street when they went into the corridor. In addition, the single glazed door to the office section formed a perfect thermal bridge, thus forcing up energy consumption and costs, and CO2 emissions at the same time.
There was a fundamental problem at hand here: the landlord had balked at the idea of the investment owing to the costs. While this was okay for him since the heating costs in the building were to be covered in full by the tenants, it quite clearly placed environmental protection last. For the tenants in contrast, it would have been much easier to pay more rent for the improved building insulation, if this provided savings on the incidental costs. Energy-efficient refurbishment is always an attractive proposition to tenants, since they are clear that they will have to reckon with higher heating costs in future.
Suggestions for improvement:
- Improved transparency in the form of an energy certificate that informs tenants of the high incidental costs for poorly insulated properties.
- A company policy at the suppliers that specifies refurbishing buildings at our latitudes to satisfy the current requirements for energy efficiency.
According to a feasibility study commissioned by Hesse Newman Capital and performed by the Hamburg-based analysts FondsMedia, buildings optimised for the environment pay for themselves in both ecological and economic terms. Eco-buildings generate up to 13% higher rents, provide permanent cost benefits and retain higher property values than normal buildings. These factors should provide a good argument for real estate managers to push for all-around energy-efficient installations when refurbishing buildings. It also helps the environment and boosts their image at the same time.