ADP Green Buildings is one of the leading companies providing consultancy, assessment, and environmental studies for green building certifications (BREEAM and WELL). It provides the complete set of services for designing and building top green buildings.
Seeing that you’re an architect at heart, what made you consider the field of sustainability as an alternative career path?
I became interested in this field at the end of my college years, because I saw sustainability as an interesting mix between technology and a more sensible way of building. Sustainability is highly dependent on buildings that use the latest technological advancements in terms of performance and environmental impact. This is why I started using the BREEAM and WELL standards, and I am happy to notice that developers are becoming more and more interested in these standards as well.
Nowadays ADP Green Buildings encompasses an architecture division, as well as a consultancy and certification one - how does each of them contribute to the overall success of the company?
Originally, architecture was the main business propellant. We had five people working on this side of business, while BREEAM certifications relied on just two employees. The situation is quite different at present, the consultancy & certification side of our business has seen notable growth in the last 1-2 years. The need for BREEAM certifications kept rising and we expect to see an even higher appetite in the market in the years to come.
To better put things in perspective, could you summarize the core elements that a building must include in order to be considered "green"?
Broadly speaking a BREEAM certification is a set of construction regulations, always more rigorous than the national/international legislation and an evaluation scheme that consists of many different elements - they are all scrutinized when assessing a building, and a rating is given based on how many points are checked. If a building has a rating of 40% on the BREEAM sheet it means some requirements are met but overall, it isn't a great performance. Ratings that are considered green and beneficial towards the environment are usually higher than 70%. It's interesting to note that as the world evolves, so do these standards, raising some challenges but overall increasing the benefits for our health and comfort, for the environment, and in general for society.
One of our recent projects was awarded the most sustainable building in CEE 2 weeks ago at BREEAM Awards 2021. It has PV panels on 40% of its roof, which brought meaningful cost reductions on the energy bills, and of course the benefit of using a clean source of energy. The rest of the roof is used for vegetation and solar tubes that bring natural light in the sales area.
We also set in place a system that captures and stores rainwater, which can be later used for irrigation purposes and in the store’s bathrooms. In this specific case and with all the other projects we complete, the building’s value rises, and the cost of running it decreases.
You mentioned briefly that more and more developers are showing interest in BREEAM certifications. What would you say motivates them to make these additional investments?
There are quite a few reasons, for instance it responds to their own values and to the desire to present themselves positively in front of their customers, who are increasingly requesting care for the environment. Another reason is the fact that transforming their building into a certified green spot reduces running costs, while creating a better and healthier environment for their employees. Overall, the building becomes more durable and resilient against functional and climatic changes.
In terms of market segments, which tend to drive demand for your services most?
At first, the office sector showed the highest interest, but things have started to change as 2020 came along. Specifically, the logistic segment has become a huge part of our scope. We had an excellent collaboration with CTP, assessing their entire portfolio in Romania and witnessing some very interesting changes implemented at a very large scale. We also have very good and intense collaborations with networks of retail parks (Scallier and Mitiska Reim) and PENNY. Overall, we are doing well in terms of demand, many building owners now see the value that a green certification can have on their business.
What are you looking forward to in the coming 2-3 years, any intentions to expand internationally for instance?
At the moment we remain focused on the Romanian market, which is growing as we speak. There are some plans to expand into Bulgaria, supporting CTP’s extension and we also have a collaboration with a BREEAM assessor from Ukraine. But for now, our main market is Romania, which is blooming. Developers are becoming much more interested in green buildings.
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