The sheer scope of the sustainability problem in the Asia Pacific area is frightening since it includes 4.3 billion people and several of the world’s largest cities. Sustainable designs and technologies are being implemented by asset owners at an increasing rate in an effort to improve asset performance.
Since the Asia-Pacific region is still dependent on fossil fuels and countries like China and India continue to expand their coal-fired electricity supply, Amie Shuttleworth, head of sustainable investing at Undivided Ventures, a Hong Kong property technology (prop-tech) investor, says that there is more pressure to decarbonize elsewhere, which presents an opportunity for real estate.
According to Shuttleworth, “There is an opportunity to make a big impact in Asia,” specifically with the decarbonization of current and new-build assets. To put it another way, “one of the reasons for that is, we don’t have the grid decarbonizing at the same trajectory as in Europe, so more needs to be done at the asset level.”
Green certifications are becoming more popular among newly constructed structures. CBRE reports that in countries like Australia and Singapore, where such certification is mandated, 63% of newly constructed buildings in the area have earned green certification. As a result, more and more builders are making eco-friendliness a priority.
Designers and architects are starting to consider the city as a whole, rather than simply the asset. “Asian cities tend to be dense and vertical,” explains David Buffonge, creator and executive director of architectural design company Lead8. Integrating greenery and natural elements, creating a sense of community, and linking floors are all current design priorities.
As a result, “in Asia, we are beginning to see more new buildings adopt biophilic design and inclusive approaches that create places accessible to the public,” he says. To paraphrase one architect: “Ironically, today’s design technology allows us to create more natural, open spaces with airflow and shade, which harks back to the way buildings were designed before mechanical cooling.”
Grand Dunman, Grand Dunman Floor Plan, and Grand Dunman Showflat, a skyscraper in Singapore, was created by the publicly traded property firm CapitaLand and features biophilic architecture. There are 89,300 square feet (8,300 square meters) of publicly accessible green space spread over the building’s numerous floors. There is landscaping “breathing space” between the structure and its neighbors.
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