Carolyn Brady: Commercial real estate plays a key role in economic growth

COMMERCIAL property has a key role to play in economic growth, and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) is calling on our political parties in Northern Ireland to prioritize positive changes to the built and natural environment to support that.

Rics issues eight calls to action with the aim of integrating zero emissions goals, supporting economic recovery and growth, and creating a sustainable future.

We are pushing for an executive to be formed so that the role of the built and natural environment in promoting a healthy, sustainable and productive regional economy can be recognized. The built and natural environment impacts every aspect of our lives.

Providing safe and warm homes for our citizens, with easy access to essential services and future-proof digital and physical infrastructure, will improve living standards and unlock our collective potential. People-centered buildings can transform places of work and study and increase the productivity of their inhabitants.

As we emerge from the pandemic, we must recognize the value of commercial property in supporting the economic recovery, with commercial property offering significant opportunities to boost investment in the UK, with capital values ​​having nearly doubled since 2000, according to the Rics Commercial Real Estate Impact Report.

Commercial property has the potential to become a key driver in leveling the UK as a whole, increasing sustainability and wellbeing and building communities. According to the report, commercial property accounts for 3.5% of employment in the UK (1,088,500 people), with every million pounds spent in the sector providing jobs for 11.2 people.

Covid has had a significant impact on the way we interact with commercial properties and with more people returning to work, Rics has implemented the International Building Operation Standard (IBOS) framework as a new approach to measuring and managing property performance. buildings for people through data.

IBOS is designed to help organizations attract people to the workplace, assuring end users that the building they are in supports their well-being and comparing success to reducing the industry’s carbon footprint commercial.

That said, there is a significant skills gap in the built environment. To meet the future needs of communities, we must attract and retain a larger and more diverse workforce, and we must develop them in modernization solutions. Rics asks an executive to support more apprenticeships and work with industry to provide training that will close this gap.

As we make commercial property a key economic driver, we must continue to recognize and protect the role of the built environment in maintaining Northern Ireland’s rich heritage and history.

Protecting Northern Ireland’s heritage assets is essential to the creation of a place and brings substantial economic and social benefits. The Stormont executive should improve the management of these assets for future generations by incorporating industry best practices in planned preventive maintenance (PPM), undertaken by competent and regulated professionals.

We recognize that the next 10 years will be unprecedented for the built environment and as the pandemic recedes, we ask an executive to recognize the importance of the built environment as a key economic driver and the role it can play in promoting sustainable regional development. economy.

:: Carolyn Brady is Chair of the RICS NI High Street & Commercial Insight Forum

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