CorVal is conscious that commercial real estate is a large contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and is committed to reducing emissions caused by the buildings that it owns and manages for its investors.
CorVal believes that property owners have an obligation to limit the environmental impact of their investments but also believes that by taking such actions, investors will ensure their buildings remain attractive to tenants in the future, thus maintaining value over the long term.
When assessing investment opportunities CorVal focuses on the National Australia Built Environmental Rating System (NABERS) energy rating of the property, generally targeting buildings with a rating of at least 4.5 Stars. Where CorVal acquires assets with lower ratings, the investment strategy includes capital works and management initiatives designed to enhance the environmental performance during CorVal’s intended investment horizon, targeting 4.5 Stars wherever possible.
In order to deliver on its commitment to improve the environmental performance of the properties that CorVal manages, it appoints dedicated sustainability consultants for each property who track the environmental performance of the assets on a monthly basis and recommend management strategies and capital works to enhance this performance.
In addition, CorVal works with these consultants to monitor utility consumption at 15 minute intervals, which provides a great insight into the consumption of each part of the building and allows for fine tuning of the operation of the building to reduce energy consumption, whilst maintaining a comfortable work environment for tenants.
Further to enhancing energy efficiency and addressing the environmental impact of its properties, CorVal aspires to be a contributor to people and communities. CorVal participates in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) Survey to benchmark its environmental, social and governance practices against competitors, making it socially aware and enabling it to identify its organisational strengths and weaknesses. This benchmarking process allows CorVal to constantly monitor and improve performance.
Case Study: 9 Hunter Street
At the time of acquisition, CorVal identified the building’s 3.5 star NABERS energy rating as a weakness and established a sustainability “roadmap” to achieve 4.5 stars over the investment period. The strategy included targeted capital works and asset management initiatives, designed in conjunction with the sustainability consultants. The capital works included the installation of new chillers and destinational lift controls and upgrades to the mechanical plant.
On completion of these works, and through the implementation of asset management programs, including the utilisation of smart metering, the installation of LED lighting and sensors in low traffic areas, CorVal has successfully increased the NABERS rating to its target of 4.5 stars.
CorVal is continuing to refine the operations of the building to further enhance the energy efficiency of this investment.
Case Study: 45 Pirie Street
CorVal acquired this asset in 2013 and whilst the property already had a 4.5 star NABERS energy rating, a number of areas were identified to enhance sustainability. Through active management, including by fine tuning the building management software and controls, minor improvements to the mechanical plant and equipment and utilising smart metering, CorVal was able to reduce the electricity expense by 28% within the first 18 months of ownership.
CorVal has also completed capital works including the installation of solar panels on the roof and LED lighting, as well as upgrades to the building management system to allow real time monitoring of energy usage.
As a result of these initiatives, the property is now on track to achieve a 5 star NABERS energy rating, which will position it as one of Adelaide’s most energy efficient office buildings.