More and more businesses are making their buildings sustainable. But how do you go about this? On behalf of the ASR Dutch Prime Retail Fund – a.s.r.’s retail fund – a.s.r. real estate started a BREEAM project to map the sustainability performance of the entire portfolio. This led to BREEAM certifications for no fewer than 146 retail buildings and centres.
Wendy Holdijk, property manager at a.s.r. real estate and responsible for the ASR Dutch Prime Retail Fund portfolio, faced with her colleagues the major challenge of making their portfolio more sustainable. Wendy: ‘The first question we asked ourselves was: “What is the state of our buildings?” We subsequently wanted to know what else we could do to make our buildings more sustainable. BREEAM turned out to be an excellent tool for obtaining these insights.’
Together with a.s.r. real estate, CFP first started certifying 19 retail blocks in four different shopping centres: Vathorst (Amersfoort), Vleuterweide (Utrecht), Leidschenveen (The Hague) and Lijnbaan (Vianen). ‘The certification process went quite smoothly, but there was a lot more to it than I thought,’ Wendy explains. ‘It takes a lot of time and energy, but also specific knowledge and skills. For example, you need to know exactly which documents are important for the certification process. Fortunately, CFP managed the process for us, and that took a lot of work out of our hands. And we were very satisfied with the result: 19 BREEAM certificates with a score of two stars (“Good”) or three stars (“Very Good”)!’
Having obtained the 19 BREEAM certificates, a.s.r. real estate, together with CFP, set about certifying the entire portfolio in 2021. In less than a year’s time, all properties have been BREEAM certified and at the end of 2021, the ASR Dutch Prime Retail Fund received a BREEAM-NL In Use certificate for 146 retail buildings and centres. This means that the entire retail portfolio of the fund is certified. Are you curious how they handled this? Then watch the video here.
The BREEAM certificates have been obtained, but in the accompanying report, CFP also made recommendations to make the existing buildings more sustainable. Wendy: ‘We are drawing up a plan based on the report and we are looking at what investments we want to make in the period ahead, such as installing solar panels and making buildings climate-adaptive by using green and white roofs. Ideally, we would like to score 3 stars for each property. But sometimes you have to invest a lot or too much money to get an extra star, so that has to be weighed up carefully. In any event, we are heading for a Paris-proof portfolio by 2045.’