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Experts discuss green building prospects in Russia

Colliers International shared its expertise on the market for office buildings and their compliance with green building standards at a roundtable organized by the Russian Green Building Council and the US Embassy in Moscow.
During the panel, which was held on July 26 and attracted 70 industry experts, the discussion focused on the development of the market for green buildings in Russia and the United States. The keynote speaker was Mike Schiller, CEO of the Green Building Alliance, who spoke about trends in eco-building in the United States. He was followed by Vera Zimenkova, Director for Corporate Solutions, Colliers International Russia, who spoke about the main trends in green standards on the office market in Moscow.

Vera Zimenkova noted that in terms of the volume of quality office premises the Moscow market is already surpassing the majority of Eastern European countries, although the market only began to form a little more than 20 years ago. Green office centers began appearing in Russia only quite recently: the first office building to be certified according to international green building standards appeared in Moscow in 2010 and green building certification was added to the criteria for office classification only in 2013. 

At present Moscow has only 9 office buildings which have received LEED or BREEAM certification. Cumulatively these buildings have over 200,000 sqm, which represents a 1.4% share of the total volume of quality office premises on the market. By this measure, the office market of the Russia capital is lagging behind the markets of Eastern Europe.

Most of the office centers which have been certified or are undergoing international green building certification are located along the corridor of Tverskaya Street – Leningradskoye highway and in the Central Business District (CBD). These areas see a high level of demand from international companies, which among other things are keen to locate their offices in a building with green certification. 

The wave of interest in green building in Moscow began in 2012. “Over the past two years an increasing number of owners and developers have been announcing either the start of the certification process or intentions to achieve certification. This is primarily linked to the position of office tenants from Western countries whose corporate policies require them to be located in an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient building. At the same time, there are also landlords (primarily Western companies) who are also showing concern for environmental conservation and efficient energy use. In the coming years we expect that interest in green facilities will only increase,” Vera Zimenkova said.

At present 9 buildings with a total of 718,000 sqm are in the process of undergoing certification. This means that if all of these business centers receive LEED or BREEAM certification, the total volume of green office premises in Moscow will quadruple.