I vividly recall from my childhood my mother, while gently tucking the bed sheets around me in bed, telling me the old fairy tale of an old lady living in a shoe. Yes it is some time ago now, yet I still feel that sensation of amazement I used to experience as my mother described in detail how this old poor lady exploited, or better still using today’s jargon recycled junk to turn it into a cosy little home; poor in materialism yet rich in ingenuity.
This experience was resurrected in my mind as during the past month I was following the debates held during the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen. What the old lady in the fairytale made look so easy our politicians in this day and age are still finding it difficult to embrace… and here I am referring to pure and simple logic – respect to our surrounding without which we will all be caput! More than logic, it is also economically rewarding. With sky rocketing fuel and energy prices our purchasing power is being aggressively eroded leading us to increasing pressures and discomforts.
My point therefore for this month’s article is investing in a facility that adheres to green building standards and performance efficiency is a smart and responsible decision. When considering the value energy efficient and environmentally friendly buildings can bring to the Malta real estate market, it seems as if going green is the wisest of investments. Indeed, the practice of “going green” has been gaining popularity within the last decade. Throughout Europe, the real estate industry is adapting a rating scheme for energy efficient homes. Eventually, the more energy efficient your home is, the less property tax will be owed. Understandably, in the Malta property market there is no real estate tax, however Malta too will one day have to adapt to European standards. It is widely recognised that it is important to ensure that we do our best to lessen mankind’s harmful impact on the environment, and the government is offering tax incentives to those who take on environmental challenges with green building practices. Our society as a whole is changing the way it sees building, living and working. That’s why living and building “green” is more attractive than ever to both residential and commercial Malta real estate investors. Green building design consultants can help a facility reach its efficiency goals. Green design can alleviate and reduce exposure to toxic materials, as well as ensure the conservation of non-renewable materials and energy which eventually will save money either indirectly or directly.
When it comes to green facility construction, a green design consultant will make sure the building process minimises the ecological impact of building as well as oversee the construction to guarantee the protection of local water, soil, air, plants and wildlife. When designing a green facility, it is important to take into account the lifestyles of those who will be using the building. Make sure the facility offers support of transportation alternatives, such as walking, mass transit, biking and alternative fuels. Incorporating design features that will make it easier for commuters who use non-traditional transportation is a responsible and modern necessity. You may think that going green and increasing building performance efficiency would cost a lot of money. While this has been the case in the past in the Malta property market, it is becoming more and more cost effective. In fact, green design and building often costs the same as traditional building methods. And with all the money that can be saved through efficiency and recycling, green building can actually cost far less than traditional methods over the long run.
Malta property owners and businesses are far more likely to invest in a green building if they understand that they will reduce their cost which at the end of the day spells out more profit if you’re in business and lower utility bills if you’re a property owner.
As green building continues to gain popularity, tax incentives will also increase. So if you are buying real estate in Malta confide with your trusted real estate agent about the potential of acquiring, converting or developing a green designed property. This indeed is a sound investment for the future both from a pocket and life perspective. Let’s learn from the wisdom of that old lady living in a shoe.
PS. Happy birthday dear mother…
Andrew Agius Muscat – Business Management Analyst
Mr. Agius Muscat is a Business Management Analyst who has extensive back ground in the business world. He is presently the Chief Executive Offices at the Malta Institute of Management and has held several top management positions. He recently held the position of Group Strategist and Planner for Attard Bros Group, a real estate developement and construction company in Malta.