Martin Pfenninger, Reto Camenzind, Jan Rüegg and Serdar Oenel (from left to right)
From review to forecast
Not only has Swiss Prime Site’s sustainability report initiated the project, but the published data, initiatives and targets also provide the basis for developing and illustrating the CO2 reduction pathway. Over the past few years, for example, all ecological values have been recorded transparently, and measures such as conforming with the two-degree target have been adhered to. The EC/BO project, started in 2012, not only brought transparency to the real estate portfolio with regard to energy consumption and greenhouse emissions, but also provided a good starting point for Pfenninger and his team. The operational improvements launched at the same time allowed the company to implement some initial reductions, which were mapped in the reduction pathway that has already been published. With the update to the roadmap, all future initiatives and efforts should now be quantified and illustrated. Swiss Prime Site is therefore venturing to take a look into the future – not only at the next ten years, but even further beyond.
The aim is to create a tool that the management team can use as a basis for making decisions. All future decisions should be made with an increased focus on aspects of environmental sustainability. But where to start with an undertaking on this scale? It is essential to make things tangible and to define practical steps.
«Generally we work with management and maintenance plans covering the next ten years. The roadmap for the two-degree target extends far beyond that.»
That is why these three experts have assembled today, who are well informed about sustainability, data and development. This knowledge is vital, not only for approaching the issue, but also for developing a concrete solution. «Our first step is focussed on mapping the current portfolio and visualising to what extent we’re on the path we want to be on, and which of our planned measures have what impact», explains Pfenninger. The key ways of making adjustments to influence a building’s greenhouse emissions are optimisation, improving efficiency and substituting fossil fuels. The first can be achieved, for example, by adjusting the control parameters of the building services. Efficiency can be improved within the context of renovations during the life cycle of a building. And renewable energy, such as hydropower, can be used to replace fossil fuels. «The time frame poses a real challenge», says Pfenninger. «Generally we work with management and maintenance plans covering the next ten years. The roadmap for the two-degree target extends far beyond that. Although we can make relatively accurate estimates for each individual building for the next ten years, the years following that are not defined.» Wincasa therefore has to work with assumptions about the durability and life cycle of building components and real estate. Take an example: if there is a property that has no comprehensive renovation scheduled in the next ten years, we must assume there will be a renovation at a future point in time. But what energy standard do we anticipate applying to the renovation? This decision naturally has an effect on subsequent calculations of energy consumption and the associated carbon emissions. There is a similar issue with replacing heating systems. When will this be required in future? And which type of heating (gas, heat pump etc.) do we expect will be used? Many things are uncertain. But one thing is clear to everyone at the table: the further you look into the future, the more imprecise the forecast becomes.