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Nrep is to develop a timber residential building in Copenhagen, with an ultra-low embodied carbon footprint.

The Nordics real estate investor will build the six-storey apartment building in the Nordhavn (North Harbour) district. Nrep claims the 13,100 sq m development will have the lowest ever embodied carbon emissions for a building over four floors in Denmark, due to its wooden construction.

Denmark recently passed new legislation which will restrict CO2 emissions from the materials and construction of new buildings. From 1 July 2025, multi-storey apartment buildings are limited to emissions of 7.5 kg of CO2 per sq m for materials and 1.5 kg of CO2 per sq m for emissions arising from the construction phase.

The 115-apartment Nordhavn development will have a total emissions of 5kg of CO2 per sq m. Most elements traditionally made of concrete will instead use timber materials. This includes load-bearing structures, walls, and smaller elements such as shower stalls, elevator shafts, and stair cores. The project will use EVs for construction transport.

The building as has also been designed to be easily disassembled and recycled if the construction one day needs to be demolished. The building will also be nearly self-sufficient in energy thanks to ground spikes, a heat pump, and solar panels.

Nicole van der Star, investment developer at Nrep, said: “The new timber construction builds on the many experiences within CO2 reduction that we have from other projects. We are now using this knowledge to create an even stronger CO2 profile. The project will be an open source project, and we will share both blueprint and construction plans so that others can freely copy or be inspired by the project.”

Troels Dam Madsen, associate design drector at project architect Henning Larsen, said: “Architecture is about creating and rethinking buildings in a way that is both unique and forward-looking. Architects are faced with inventing a new design language for the new lightweight constructions in biogenic materials.”

A new tool has been launched for the measurement and reporting of whole life costs and whole life carbon emissions.

UK-based construction data firm Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) has launched the Life Cycle Evaluator using its in-house cost data and carbon data from the Built Environment Carbon Database (BECD).

James Fiske, BCIS chief executive and chair of the BECD steering group, said: “Combining cost and carbon data in one place is a logical development given the increasing requirement for both detailed whole life cost and whole life carbon plans to be produced, evaluated and audited in projects.

“We expect to see more audits being carried out on projects’ green credentials, making the accuracy of assessments – in some cases carried out to secure financing – even more critical.”

AEW has been granted planning permission for the sustainable redevelopment of a former department store in Bristol, UK.

The real estate investment manager will transform a former Debenhams department store into a residential mixed-use scheme with 500 rental apartments, 100 of which will be designated affordable.

The project will regenerate create a new pedestrianised, tree-lined street, with retail and hospitality space and also reinstate a medieval street, which was lost when the Debenhams store was constructed in the 1950s.

Sustainability features will include the installation of a total of 400 sq m of solar panels, as well as air source heat pumps, with the fully-electric scheme connected to the Bristol Heat Network.

Charles Royle, portfolio manager, AEW, said: “This is an important new landmark scheme for Bristol, providing much needed private and affordable housing, and a huge step forward in the regeneration of the site and wider Broadmead area.  We saw an opportunity to regenerate this underutilised urban building and invest in the creation of a vibrant new area.”

The property was acquired in 2022 by AEW’s Urban Real Estate Fund, which has a strategy of repositioning underutilised retail spaces to support the regeneration of town centres.    

UK developer Stanhope is boosting the sustainability of its development at 70 Gracechurch Street in the City of London with new plans.

The rejigged project will reuse some of the existing 10 storey building on site, in line with new City plans to prioritise retrofitting and reuse of existing buildings.

Originally, Stanhope planned to demolish the existing building (pictured above) to make way for a 33-storey tower.

Stanhope senior development director Nick Jarman told Building magazine: “Our development team have reimagined the plans for this prominent and brilliantly located site within the City of London, with a focus on sustainability and the reuse and retention of substantial elements of the existing building.” 

Hines has agreed to forward fund a 519-unit net zero residential scheme in Newcastle, UK.

The Houston-based developer and investor’s Hines European Property Partners (HEPP) fund will fund the multifamily residential project, to be delivered by UK developer Olympian Homes.

Hines said 325,000 sq ft scheme will be all-electric, powered by geothermal heat pumps and on-site solar PV making it net-zero enabled from day one.

The project, named Pottery Lane, will be delivered in two phases: an 11-storey block, comprising 292 units, will be completed in Q4 2026 and a second six-storey, 227-home block is due for delivery in 2027. 

Alongside a mix of one and two-bed rental apartments, the scheme will provide around 10,000 sq ft of amenity space including a gym, co-working facilities, two roof terraces and a cinema room.

The scheme is located in the Newcastle’s Forth Yards Regeneration Area and is close to  The Helix, a £350 million tech and life science quarter and Pilgrim Place, a new 400,000 sq ft office-led mixed use project.

Jorge Duarte, senior managing director and fund manager for HEPP, said: “The creation of rental accommodation in areas of high demand and low supply is a high-conviction investment theme for us.

“We believe this ambitious scheme provides a blueprint for how private capital can be deployed to deliver both value for our investors and the high-quality housing supply the UK and Europe so clearly needs.”

Impact developer Socius has appointed Katrina Lamberton as senior project manager.

Lamberton joins the British firm from Australian developer Lendlease, where she worked for more than 20 years. She worked on projects including the 60-acre transport hub at Euston, a 5 million sq ft office development at the International Quarter East London and a 50-acre mixed-use development scheme at Silvertown Quays, London. 

At Socius she will join the project team responsible for Botanic Place (below), a £500 million “sustainable and intelligent” development in Cambridge. It will use 70% less energy than a typical office building and will be powered using renewable energy sources. 

Barry Jessup, managing director at Socius, said: “Katrina’s expertise in planning and delivering large complex schemes will be hugely valuable as we bring forward the plans for Botanic Place, which will set a new benchmark for sustainable workspace in Cambridge.”

Sustainable housebuilder Greencore Homes has secured a further £30 million ($38.4 million) in equity funding from UK investment manager M&G Investments. 

The housebuilder, which developers low carbon and energy efficient homes, will use the new capital  to drive “significant expansion”, initially by targeting land acquisitions in the South East of England.

M&G invested £15 million ($19.2 million) investment into Greencore in 2022, to help the company meet its aim of  building 10,000 homes in a decade. The £45 million investment came from Catalyst, M&G’s £5 billion “purpose-led” private assets strategy.

Greencore targets net zero carbon balance in operation and better than net zero embodied carbon for its new homes. It assembles timber-frame panels in its factory, which are insulated with natural materials including hemp, lime and wood-fibre. The panels are then assembled onsite. The homes are highly energy efficient and are designed and built to meet Passivhaus thermal performance standards.

Jon Di-Stefano, CEO of Greencore Homes, said: “Our vision is to lead the housebuilding industry in the delivery of climate positive homes and M&G’s further investment reflects their confidence in our potential to take on this role and operate at scale. This investment will enable us to secure the land needed to deliver on our targets whilst supporting local communities, jobs and the environment. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with M&G while we seek out new partnerships to help bolster our pipeline and support our target of building 10,000 climate-positive homes.”

The real estate sector is poised at a critical juncture, with hopes of a resurgence in investment activity, claims the latest Emerging Trends in Real Estate® Global Outlook 2024, jointly released by PwC and the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

The report, amalgamating insights from thousands of real estate leaders across Europe, the United States, and Asia Pacific, suggests optimism brews for a gradual rebound from one of the most severe investment downturns in recent years.

Thomas Veith, PwC global real estate leader, emphasised the imperative for sustainable adjustments in the industry, highlighting a growing preference for alternative property sectors driven by demographic shifts, digitalisation, and decarbonisation imperatives.

Lisette van Doorn, CEO of ULI Europe, stressed the potential role of market dynamics in advancing environmental agendas, including decarbonization efforts, as investors wield greater negotiation power amid distress scenarios.

The report reveals a shifting investment landscape, with housing, logistics, and alternative sectors gaining prominence, particularly in light of challenges associated with affordable housing. Socio-political concerns such as housing affordability and social equity are gaining traction globally, influencing investor attention and political agendas.

The report also delves into changing occupier needs, stressing the importance of aligning real estate offerings with evolving demands driven by demographic shifts and climate change. 

Sustainable building certifications are becoming an essential for occupiers, lenders and investors, investment manager Axa IM Alts says. 

Justin Curlow, global head of research & strategy, real assets, at AXA IM Alts, said: “Occupiers and investors alike have seen ESG, health and wellbeing considerations catapult themselves up the priority list for both space planning and investment decisions.”

He said it was becoming clear ESG-compliant assets let faster and at higher rents, but added: “What is less quantifiable but anecdotally clear is also the greater level of interest, and therefore liquidity, as more occupiers require certifications for buildings to be considered for occupation and both lenders and equity investors insist that either certifications are in place or capital expenditures under-written in order to consider investment.”

Curlow said upgrading existing stock and new development to cater to this change in occupier requirements “will provide a wave of investment opportunities” over the coming years. 

IPUT Real Estate has secured planning permission to develop “one of Europe’s greenest logistics parks”.

The largest owner of offices and logistics assets in Dublin, will develop an additional 12 units spanning 1.7 million sq ft at the  Nexus Logistics Park, located near the Cherryhound Interchange of the M2 motorway. The new units bring the park to 2.5 million sq ft.

IPUT has committed to achieving BER A2 and LEED Gold certifications, with an emphasis on eco-friendly construction methodologies such as glue-laminated timber frames, which will reduce embodied carbon by 27% compared with steel.

Nexus Logistics Park will also incorporate a range of sustainable design elements, including roof-mounted solar panels, rainwater harvesting systems, and advanced building envelopes for enhanced thermal performance. 

IPUT plans to invest in enhancing the public realm and amenities for both occupiers and the local community. The development will feature sports facilities, cycle paths, outdoor gym facilities and cultural installations.

Michael Clarke, chief investment officer of IPUT, said: "Our ambition is for Nexus to be one of the most sustainable logistics parks in Europe. Our investment in Nexus supports a greener economy while providing amenities that serve both our occupiers and the local community.”