Top Names Gather To Debate Industrial Sector
8 Nov, 2006, London
More than 100 top names from the industrial real estate sector gathered on Thursday 2nd November at the Cumberland Hotel for Cushman & Wakefield’s UK Industrial Seminar 2006. In its second year, speakers including Stephen Smith of AXA REIM, Michael Sparks of Michael Sparks Associates and Marcel Stuve of Buck Consultants International, joined Cushman & Wakefield’s Research, Planning and Agency experts to review issues ranging from location strategies to sustainability within the industrial development field.
Encouraging year ahead predicted
Against the backdrop of sustained big shed take up, Cushman & Wakefield’s Head of European Research, Elaine Rossall, predicted an encouraging 12 months ahead for the industrial market, although this was tempered by an element of caution compared with six months ago. AXA’s Steve Smith concurred and suggested that whilst the UK market is mature, continental Europe is less so and continues to offer opportunity.
Sustainability must be higher up the agenda for industrial developers
However, by far the most thought provoking speaker of the day was Martin Hunt, Principal Sustainability Advisor at Forum for the Future. As an educational charity working with blue chip companies across the UK, Martin empathised that it will no longer be enough for developers just to comply with legislation relating to sustainability. The UK development market must look beyond compliance if it is to hit the government’s targets, particularly in relation to the reduction of Carbon emissions.
In particular, the 60% target proposed for 2050 will be impossible, given that research shows that 45% of all UK Carbon Dioxide emissions come from buildings, unless we improve our construction technology.
This, when combined with the extra effort that Cushman & Wakefield’s Andrew Gale believes will be required when engaging with Local Planning Authorities regarding the early identification of future development opportunities through Regional Spatial Strategies must have an impact on the future development pipe-line for “big sheds”.
Although, with Elaine Rossall confirming that take-up during the first three quarters of 2006, is keeping pace with 2005’s figures and currently stands a little over 25,000,000 sq ft in units greater than 100,000 sq ft, the buoyant market conditions being experienced by those parties involved in the “big shed” world show no signs of abating, at least in the immediate future.
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