What a time we had at MIPIM 2023; the sun was out, spirits were high; what better place to have great conversations with great people.

One of the biggest events of our industry, MIPIM provides us with an excellent opportunity to fly the Hollis flag (literally), build on our all-important client relationships as well meet many new faces. MIPIM facilitates discussion and chat on all things real estate; so, whether you headed over to Cannes this year or not, below is my summary of takeaways from this year’s event.

Pathways to Net Zero
Maybe not surprisingly, ESG was a hot topic.  We ourselves held two discussions on the issue; ‘Embracing ESG and the future of the office’ and ‘Pathways to net zero – logistics and industrial.’ We know that net zero ultimately carries a capital cost, but with better returns on rent in the long-term, through the implementation of ESG and net zero products, creating net zero pathways is a beneficial decision for both planet and profit. However, to see the most cost-effective results, it all starts with a well-designed net zero project from the outset; your net zero commitments shouldn’t be an afterthought, it only causes delays and further costs. A net zero pathway can be straight forward and a ‘yellow brick road’ to a whole heap of benefits, all it takes is a commitment – don’t be afraid to take action!

As we all know, energy prices are on the rise, so it is unsurprising that the installation of solar PV panels has been increasing rapidly over the past few years.  In every discussion I had – from our rooftop to our stand and all along the croisette – everyone is intrigued by renewable energy systems. And with the weeklong sunny skies, it was no wonder solar PV was on everyone’s minds!  Solar PV is particularly popular, and a more frequently viable option, in the industrial and logistics sector. With expansive roof fascias, industrial units provide a great home for PV panels as enough panels can be installed to generate high levels of renewable energy that covers usage on site.

ESG is more than an EPC
EPCs have a been a regular hot topic in real estate but whilst UK minimum energy efficiency standards (‘MEES’) may mandate that buildings hold an EPC rating ‘B’ or above by 2030, it is important to remember that ESG is more than just your EPC! EPCs provide an across-the-board comparison for a building’s energy but it does not incorporate actual energy use by tenants. Investors need to start looking beyond required legislation and making refurbishments that improve the whole life carbon of a building; this incorporates both operational carbon and embodied carbon which we should consider when making design choices.

Remember too that ESG is more than just our impact on the environment, it addresses our social impact too. And it is this ‘S’ that will make the difference. Tenants are looking for spaces that make a positive benefit to local community and which focus on occupant health and wellbeing; ensure that your ESG strategy incorporates all the E, S and G.

Building safety and innovation
ESG wasn’t the only hot topic of the conference, but innovation and building safety too. Following the Grenfell investigation, we have seen the Building Safety Act 2022 and Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 come into force holding a lot of new changes to make high-rise buildings safer in England. From registering higher-risk buildings with the Building Safety Regulator to collecting data for a premises information box, owners will need to start collecting their golden thread of information.

The future of real estate is one that incorporates PropTech and pushes beyond the bounds of current thinking and there was lots of great conversations about new ways of working, new ideas and technologies including our own Hollis client portal – what this space!  And depending on who you talk to, there are differing views of the future;  but what is known is that regardless of where you live or work, property is a constant.  And yes some sectors will thrive and others may struggle over the next 12 months; but there are heaps of opportunities out there too to collectively achieve some great things for people and planet.

Until next time
From ESG to retrofit, and weather to wine, we discussed it all and managed to find the fun too.  And we would be delighted to come speak with you to continue our conversations or to start news ones;  click here to see a run-down of the talks we offer for each of our services and how we can help you across the UK, Ireland and Europe.

Mark Hampson

Head of Commercial and Clients
Management Board

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