Monthly Archives: July 2017

Sustainability is not a constraint – it is an opportunity

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As a global society, we have been grappling with sustainability for many years. It doesn’t help that the definition of the term is open to interpretation—and constantly changing. As individuals we each have different capacities and responsibilities, and to me, sustainability is about pooling our strengths to make a positive impact on the world we live in.

At JLL, our vision is to create spaces, buildings and cities where everyone can thrive. According to the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), buildings are responsible over 40 percent the world’s energy consumption and one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions.

It is clear, we have a lot of work to do. But rather than feeling overwhelmed, we can view this as a great opportunity. True, changing habits is not easy—especially at scale—but when you focus on the payoffs, it becomes a no brainer.

As outlined in JLL’s 2016 Global Sustainability Report, our sustainability services generated revenue of $27 million last year. We also helped US clients save an estimated 282 metric tons of CO2e, an equivalent of around $59 million in costs. That’s roughly the same as 29,000 homes’ worth of energy consumption.

Sustainability is not just about the environment. It is about resilient communities, and wellbeing on both the individual and societal level.… Read More

Flood risk management for commercial real estate

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Since the 1970s, insured losses from weather-related catastrophes such as floods, droughts and thunderstorms have increased 14 times. With more than one-third of the world’s land prone to flooding, more frequent and intense natural disasters have brought with them an uncompromising set of negative impacts on business continuity, physical building assets, and, ultimately, asset values.

Innovation in flood risk management has not kept pace with the increasing frequency of such natural disasters. Adoption of systematic flood risk assessment by real estate investors and building occupiers has been slow, the availability of assessment tools has been low, and detailed and up-to-date flood risk information for river and coastal flooding—as well as surface water, groundwater and sewer system flooding—has been limited.

Therefore, a strong need exists to protect real estate physical assets and asset value in the short- and long-term and update business continuity to better account for flooding events. Flood risk management and resilience of commercial real estate and occupier business activities can be improved through better assessment of building location and design, infrastructure and business continuity plans.

Asset owners and building occupiers can introduce more systematic flood hazard assessments through the implementation of flood mitigation features, evaluation of emergency plans and organization’s readiness and recovery plans. The following are key steps to better flood risk management:… Read More

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Real estate’s role in developing smart cities

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Cities are expanding at an unprecedented rate and so is their complexity. By 2050 the world will be populated by an estimated nine-billion people. Seventy percent of people will live in urban areas, many of them in new towns and mega-cities.

In order to be competitive, cities will need to be sustainable, have good transportation systems, and have high-density, mixed-use and efficient infrastructure with low carbon emissions. To support their vast urban populations, cities will increasingly rely on smart infrastructure to efficiently deliver vital services, such as power, water, public transit, distribution of goods and services, waste management and security.

The Smart Cities Council defines smart cities as those that have “digital technology embedded across all city functions,” while the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers describes them as “bringing together technology, government and society” across the economy, mobility, environment, people, living and governance.

There are several reasons that smart cities should be of interest to developers, long-term investors and corporate real estate professionals. Perhaps the most obvious is that smart, sustainable cities command higher land and property values, which attract large-scale investors.

However, the real estate industry needs to understand that the buildings sector plays a huge role in helping to make cities smart. That is because the key to smart cities is data analytics – an important element of which relates to the millions of buildings and the huge masses of population that they accommodate. To gain maximum value from owning or managing assets in a smart city, the real estate itself should also be ‘smart’. Smart buildings and smart cities both generate and require big data.… Read More