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“Green” solutions in Construction and Real Estate in Russia


On 14 April the AEB Real Estate Committee held an open meeting in the hybrid format, and the " in-person" part of it took place at SOK Rybakov Tower. The meeting was devoted to a discussion of existing practices and prospects of “green” building technologies in Russia. 

"Green” solutions in construction have already become mandatory in Europe and are gaining popularity in Russia. After all, a “healthy” office is transformed from a simple place of work into a space for socialisation and collaboration, becoming a laboratory for the birth of new creative ideas. It is not a surprise that the Russian real estate market shows interest in “green” technologies at these difficult times of coronavirus: their implementation is associated not only with a return on investment, but mainly with a healthy lifestyle. 

Tatyana Kovalenko, the Chairperson of the AEB Real Estate Committee and the discussion moderator, as well as all the speakers of the event repeatedly returned to its key idea: When talking about the benefits of “green” technologies in construction and real estate, we are not referring to buildings, but, above all, to people!


Evgeny Teslya, General Director of EST GROUP, noted that the “green theme” as a trend, in one form or another, has always existed, and it is therefore in demand among companies of all industries and levels nowadays and, fortunately, isn’t much affected by any crises. The Sochi Olympics and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, for which facilities had to be built to certain standards, had a big impact on the development of “green” technologies in Russia. Evgeny spoke about the existing environmental certification systems for construction objects (BREEAM, LEED, WELL) confirming these standards. Thus, a building certified under one of these systems can be considered “green” (it consumes electricity and heat resources rationally, provides a comfortable microclimate, etc.). Although the main purpose of the “green” construction is not the erection of a building as such, but the well-being of people, there are marketing and investment advantages to such a developer's decision as well. In particular, the certification provides a competitive edge and helps to attract major international tenants for a long-term cooperation. However, according to the expert, the Russian market has yet to learn how to “sell” the eco-certification of a building successfully.

Sergey Yulakov from SOK in his presentation, by using actual cases (including the example of the office where the offline part of the meeting took place), demonstrated practical techniques and ideas enabling the SOK Engineering team to create as ecologically sustainable office buildings and co-working spaces as possible. The whole process of their creation is formed around the principle of eco-friendliness, including site selection and auditing, forming flexible spaces, ensuring safety and maintaining a high quality microclimate in rooms. The result is the “Office of Generation 5.0” concept: with multi-zone and ergonomic space, climatic, light and acoustic comfort, and the possibility of monitoring and even individual control of environmental settings. This approach to selecting (or reorganizing) office spaces does not just allow the user to be on-trend, but also to achieve very tangible practical results, such as convenience, psychological comfort and an increase in the performance of employees.

Maria Zimina, Director of Office Real Estate at Knight Frank, spoke about the fact that in recent times, also due to the pandemic, many people have noticeably changed their approach to the form of employment and attitude to working in the office. Non-traditional offices, flexi-coworkings and other options that meet the new format of employee interaction, designed and running to eco-standards, are increasingly becoming the subject of demand. A "WOW-office" from the tenant's point of view implies availability of different types of spaces and their compliance with the business activities of the team, ensuring comfort for different forms of work (space rationing, possibility of maintaining the hybrid format of interaction, maximum automatization of processes, etc.) and - environmental friendliness, confirmed by certificates. Although the construction and certification of such “green” spaces is an additional burden on the developer, according to the expert, it can also bring benefits to him: for example, capitalization of a “green” object due to the price increases by 10%. In addition, it is essential to keep in mind that a building under construction today should meet the needs of tenants in a few decades.


One of the most significant elements in making a comfortable environment is lighting, and Natalia Neverskaya from SIGNIFY, a leader in this field, spoke to the meeting participants about the use of different lighting technologies. With a third of the world's energy consumption being used to light buildings, it is vital to ensure that buildings are constructed at least as environmentally sustainable as possible, and at best – that they can combine different technologies in a flexible way. For instance, modern developments in the field of light are able to save energy and reduce carbon emissions, to support a digital integration platform for buildings, to help ensure personalized safety, health and well-being (e.g. by supporting human biorhythms through special lighting scenarios), and much more.

After the panel discussion, the participants used the opportunity to meet face-to-face for the first time in many months and continued talking on the latest “green” technologies and sharing their experiences of applying them in current realities.