Asia Pacific cities facing shortage of sustainable office buildings: JLL

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Net-zero carbon (NZC) targets are prompting occupiers in major Asia Pacific (Apac) cities to increasingly seek out more sustainable buildings. However, according to research by JLL, there is an imminent critical undersupply of such buildings in the region. Kamya Miglani, head of ESG research, Asia Pacific, at JLL, explains that even though more occupiers are looking at the green certifications of buildings, these certifications are not a true indicator of the building’s energy performance. This highlights the urgent need to retrofit existing buildings in order to meet NZC requirements.

JLL’s Sustainable Offices City Index ranks Sydney as the top city in Apac and reveals that current green building standards are not sufficient to reach a net-zero carbon position. By 2027 Sydney is expected to have an 84% undersupply of NZC-ready office space. Hong Kong and Mumbai, which are placed in the bottom half of the Index, are also expected to face similar deficits of 68% and 62% respectively. In Singapore, a 56% undersupply of NZC-ready offices is expected by 2027, while in Melbourne and Delhi the undersupply figure is estimated at 43% and 44% respectively.

Miglani advises occupiers to plan ahead and re-evaluate the sustainability credentials of their current premises to avoid being stuck with limited options. Governments in the region, such as Australia and Singapore, are taking steps towards helping bridge the gap between supply and demand for NZC-ready office space by introducing new regulations and providing subsidies for buildings to lower their upfront capital costs.

“The involvement of governments, coupled with corporate demand and action, will fuel the momentum and ensure a steady pipeline of NZC-ready office stock in the future,” Miglani states. With more occupiers seeking greener buildings, it is pertinent that Apac accelerates the rate of retrofitting and continually adjust current regulations to meet the growing demand.

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