How will the Commercial Property Sector Respond?

Minister Tito Mboweni’s 2019 Budget Speech contained many harsh realities for South Africans across the economic spectrum while offering a few crucial rays of hope. Taxation, deficits, and economic revival aside, one of the most interesting takeaways from the Minister’s speech was his strong position on climate change.

Despite the claims of denialists (including the Trump administration in Washington), climate change is having a marked impact on weather patterns and putting pressure on natural resources around the world.

As Minister Mboweni pointed out, climate change is not a temporary phenomenon or a trend that will simply disappear. It’s the ‘new normal’ – a part of our 21st-century reality that we will need to factor into our decision making.

But how will climate change affect the SA commercial property sector? Here are some of the ways.

Green building – it’s now a necessity

Climate experts have been warning us about the effects of global warming for decades – and its effects are now starting to be felt.

The architectural profession was quick to heed these warnings, with organisations like the Green Building Council leading the charge toward sustainable construction and building management.

  • With some of SA’s top-rated green buildings, Cape Town may want to take a moment to feel good about its sustainable urban environment – but there’s still plenty to do.
  • Green building and management practices are no longer just for trendy, cutting-edge developments that attract the highest monthly rentals.

Office spaces across the city will need to retrofit green energy, water management, and other features to remain marketable and viable investments in the future – and the future starts today.

Net Zero Energy Usage – the ultimate sustainable development goal

The ultimate goal of green building practices is to achieve net zero energy usage in each building – but what does this buzzword really mean?

If a building is equipped with sustainable energy sources like solar panels and recycles water very efficiently, it will place virtually zero burden on the local energy grid. As a result, fewer Kilowatts of coal-powered electricity will need to be supplied – and that’s great news for the environment.

Achieving net-zero energy usage will require a street-by-street, building-by-building retrofitting approach in all parts of the city. By starting at the street and building level, this ambitious goal can be achieved in years to come.

Integrated cities will cut congestion and energy use

One of the most unfortunate legacies of the apartheid era is the layout of most SA cities, with less developed, lower income areas sprawling around the outskirts of wealthier city centres and suburban areas.

As the government takes measures to provide affordable housing near the places where people work every day, transportation costs and pollution should start to fall.

For developers, this presents an exciting new opportunity to serve a new community of working people with disposable income. Like existing commercial property in Cape Town, these new retail and commercial buildings will need to be built and managed according to green principles.

If you’re feeling energised about the future of green buildings in Cape Town, now may be the best time to invest. To get started, contact the Commercial Space team today.