Close cooperation with our tenants and other stakeholders is an important element in our sustainability strategy.
The Office Fund conducts an annual tenant satisfaction survey, which provides us with insight into the satisfaction of our tenants and highlights potential improvements. The overall score was 6.9 in 2015 (2014: 7.5). A comparison between the result in 2014 and 2015 is difficult. Firstly, an improved methodology was used to weigh scores based on lease size and remaining lease terms. Secondly, the survey was related to a complete different portfolio of assets, because sold assets were excluded and new assets Valina (Amsterdam) and WTC Rotterdam were added. Furthermore, some new and critical tenants had a major impact due to the low response on the survey. We are confident we can improve this score in the years ahead. Our planned investment projects will make a major contribution to improve results in the future.
Partnerships with tenants
Following the launch of so-called ‘green leases’ in 2013, we continued to incorporate sustainability clauses in lease proposals in 2015. The aim of these leases is to increase and enhance the information exchange between Bouwinvest and its tenants with the aim of improving environmental performance. In 2015, no green leases were signed.
The Arthur van Schendelstraat 550 case is a successful example of the value created with this approach. The Office Fund worked very closely with fair trade organisation Max Havelaar and micro-credit provider Oikocredit on the renovation and refitting of its Arthur van Schendelstraat building in Utrecht, with the aim of creating truly sustainable office suites. When Max Havelaar and Oikocredit approached Bouwinvest they had very clear demands regarding their future office space, as they wanted it to be a clear extension of the culture, working environment and identity of the two idealistic organisations. They wanted pleasant lighting, a healthy interior climate and they wanted to be close to Utrecht central station. Arthur van Schendelstraat fits the bill perfectly and the Office Fund and its future tenants set to work – in partnership – to put together a package of measures that would create offices that will meet sustainability standards long into the future. These measures included solar panels, a wide range of energy efficiency measures and the use of sustainable materials for the renovation. This has already helped improve the energy label for the building to B from D and further improvement is expected. Bouwinvest has also applied for a BREEAM NL In-Use certificate. The improvements in the sustainability of the office building has led to a great deal of interest from like-minded organisations in the non-profit sector. The Fund is currently in negotiations on a number of leases.
Managing the supply chain
In 2013, we introduced Service Level Agreements. We assess property managers each quarter on topics related to administrative management, technical management (including sustainability), commercial management and tenant satisfaction.
In 2015 we started a project together with IVBN and fellow fund managers to engage and assess suppliers of the Fund with a sustainability web tool. Current and future suppliers will be assessed on their sustainable commitments, policies and behavior.
Partnerships with local government agencies
Citroën buildings in Amsterdam
The two iconic Citroën buildings, designed by Dutch architect Jan Wils, once housed the Citroën head office. The buildings are in a very culturally significant location, right next door to the city’s 1928 Olympic Stadium at the southern entry to Amsterdam, the Stadionplein. The Noordgebouw (northern building) is a listed building and Bouwinvest Development is redeveloping the two buildings – some 25,000 m² – and converting them for multifunctional use. Bouwinvest has been working closely with the Amsterdam city council, local businesses and tenants, plus young designers to give the iconic buildings a much-needed facelift and convert the two into a multi-tenant office complex with additional amenities, in what will be one of the city’s top locations.
In 2015, Bouwinvest successfully launched a number of temporary initiatives in the two Citroën buildings. The prestigious restaurateur Baut transformed the southern of the two Citroën buildings into bar-restaurant BAUTZUID, which ran through December of 2015. Meanwhile the northern building hosted two pop-up initiatives, the Kunsthal Citroën art gallery and Restaurant Citroën.
In 2015, the Citroën Buildings were also the focal point of the PK AWARD. Bouwinvest teamed up with the Centre for Architecture in Amsterdam (Arcam) for this year’s PK AWARD, which is aimed at giving young designers a helping hand in their careers. The first PK AWARD has been won by Ivar van der Zwan. The challenge for the 2015 PK AWARD was to design an interior for the historic north building of the iconic Citroën complex. The PK AWARD is the successor to the Piet Kranenberg Ring, a real estate award previously presented at the Provada Dutch real estate trade fair to designers judged to have made the most creative contribution to the transformation of existing building structures, or districts, in Amsterdam. Transformation remains the central theme of the PK AWARD.
The redevelopment of the Citroën buildings will add the final touch to the total development of Amsterdam’s Stadionplein, giving the southern entry to the city the cachet it deserves. This acquisition is fully in line with the Bouwinvest Office Fund strategy, with its focus on inner-city redevelopment.
Green Business Club
Bouwinvest is one of the founding partners of the Green Business Club for the Beatrixkwartier district in The Hague. The company teamed up with The Hague city council, Post NL, construction company BAM and MN Services to launch this initiative in December 2014. Two of the Office Fund’s top assets, The WTC The Hague and CentreCourt are both located in the city’s Beatrixkwartier district. The aim of this initiative is to improve the sustainability and environmental performance of the area and office buildings in the district, and to breathe new life into the area by making it a lively meeting place for people who live and work in the area. In 2015, the initiatives of the Green Business Club included a pop-up park, financed and maintained by the members of the club, which was converted into an ice-skating rink in December. The club also conducted a survey into the sustainability required of business and private users, while club members PostNL and MN purchased electric charging points for their shared parking facilities.