Varma currently owns 22 BREEAM-certified properties

Varma promotes the energy efficiency of its properties and has been granted BREEAM In-Use environmental certification for ten of its properties in 2017. The certified properties are located across Finland. Varma’s climate policy states that the company’s most important buildings will be certified primarily according to the BREEAM environmental rating system by 2025. The quality system is particularly aimed at improving how energy efficiency is monitored and verified.

“Varma's objective is to continuously develop the energy efficiency of the properties it owns in order to reduce their carbon footprint, for example. As stated in our Corporate Social Responsibility Programme, we are committed to preventing climate change. Environmental ratings are a concrete way to develop the sustainability of real estate,” says Varma’s Commercial Property Director, Toni Pekonen.

BREEAM* is an environmental rating system for buildings and building projects to assess the sustainability of buildings using harmonised methods. The assessment covers areas such as energy efficiency, waste sorting and recycling opportunities and location, i.e. whether the building is situated near services and along good public transit routes and how cycling is encouraged in the space solutions, for example. Other aspects pertaining to the occupants’ well-being, such as the possibility to influence the buildings’ indoor conditions, are also included in the certification criteria.

“Certification is a generally accepted guarantee stating that attention has been paid to sustainability in the property. Certification is also a solid tool for developing the building’s maintenance practices,” says Pekonen.

“The certification of the building is re-assessed every three years. In between assessments, development measures can be carried out and the certification level can possibly be raised,” adds Varma’s Senior Analyst, Johanna Haikala.

In July 2017, the four shopping centres listed below were granted certification. Willa shopping centre in Hyvinkää was rated “Very Good” and the others were rated “Good”.

Syke shopping centre (Kauppakatu 18, Lahti)
Palokka shopping centre (Saarijärventie 50-52, Jyväskylä)
Keljo shopping centre (Kylmälahdentie 6, Jyväskylä)
Willa shopping centre (Hämeenkatu 9, Hyvinkää)

In November 2017, the following six office buildings were granted certification. All of them were rated Good.

Hatanpään valtatie 20, Tampere
Hämeenkatu 9, Tampere
Visiokatu 6, Tampere
Itämerenkatu 11-13, Helsinki
Malminkatu 28, Helsinki
Robert Huberin tie 3 B, Vantaa

Varma’s climate policy states that the company’s most important buildings will be certified primarily according to the BREEAM environmental rating system by 2025. The goal is to achieve a rating of at least “Good” or “Very Good”. Currently, Varma has around 20 certified properties and aims to grow this number by at least 10 annually. Varma has chosen the British BREEAM rating system over the American LEED certification system because of its better applicability to Nordic conditions.

“All new office and commercial buildings and major renovation projects are directly certified according to BREEAM. When planned smartly, meeting the requirements does not raise the construction costs to any noteworthy extent,” says Pekonen.

“Certifications are important for real estate investors, and as far as new buildings are concerned, they are often even a condition for sale. They influence the valuation of properties,” Pekonen says.

* Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method


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