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Skanska talks green at major London commercial property event

40 percent interactive panel discussion
Press release 25/09/2013 08:42 CET

Skanska took part in an event in London which focused on the green issues that affect commercial property developers, investors and occupiers.

The 40 percent symposium event took place at Haberdasher’s Hall in the City of London on 19 September.

Martin Neeson, Managing Director for SRW, Skanska’s engineering services business, chaired a panel discussion which focused on green retrofits – making buildings more energy efficient. The session opened with a short film about two of Skanska’s green retrofit projects at its own offices in the UK – Hollywood House and Maple Cross.

The audience and panel then took part in a discussion about green technology, changing legislation, and whether green retrofit projects make good business sense.  The panel members gave their views from a variety of perspectives.

The panel included Tom Younespour from the Department of Energy & Climate Change, who leads on green issues for the privately-rented sector.

Chris Perkins from M&G Real Estates gave a landlord’s perspective. He is responsible for commercial letting throughout the UK. M&G is also the landlord of Skanska’s office in Woking – Hollywood House – and has worked closely with Skanska on the green retrofit of the 1980s building.

The developer’s view was given by Andre Gibbs, a partner at Argent, who also gave a talk showing how successful a green project can be when the client, developer and community work together.

Associate Director Richard Byers from Skanska was on also the panel. He heads up Skanska’s Energy Performance Contract (EPC) business and has played a key role in developing it. An EPC is an alternative way of financing green improvements to buildings. An EPC provider will carry out a green audit of a property, and then will design and finance a solution. This will reduce energy consumption and provide savings which pay for the cost of the improvement over the term of the contract. Once the contract ends, the client benefits from the savings.

Other sessions were held during the day. The conference focused on making green mainstream. Speakers looked at green issues and their effect on the value of commercial properties. The aim of the day was to provide an insight into a range of issues, including legislation and what companies are doing to make their commercial stock more energy efficient.