Europe Leadership in Green Building Awards

These biennial awards were established by WorldGBC’s Europe Regional Network to promote leadership on sustainability and inspire best practice in building projects, business practice and public policy.

The 2015 Winners Are:

Leadership in Building Design and Performance

Eiffel Palace (Budapest, Hungary) 


Eiffel Palace is a high-end office development in the UNESCO World Heritage protected fifth district of Budapest, at a highly visible and accessible CBD location. It excels in CEE with its exquisite design, authentic heritage restoration practices, sustainable solutions, commercial success, urban development concept and contribution to the larger society. Organically combining original nineteenth century architectural elements with innovative green technologies, it preserves the values of the past while also creating a healthy and efficient modern work environment.

The beautifully restored facade takes us back to 1893 when the building functioned as the publication and print house of Pesti Hírlap. 120 years of architectural history resurfaced as part of the 2013 re-development, and have been appreciated since by tenants and visitors alike. The building’s new interior meets all criteria of 21st century commercial buildings, attracting tenants such as PwC, Apple, CBRE, the British Chamber of Commerce and Business Centre and a diverse service line, contributing to a 100% occupancy level and fast divestment process. Eiffel Palace is the first and only office development in CEE that received a dual qualification (BREEAM, LEED), having met the strict criteria of both green building certification systems.

Sustainability as an outlook describes the completed building, but also fundamentally defines the entire road that leads to it. Horizon Development’s close collaboration with the local municipality ensured that the plans of the district and the developer are in sync, and point towards a shared city development concept that the entire society benefits from.

Business Leadership in Sustainability

Castellum AB (Sweden) 

Castellum AB is one of Sweden’s largest real estate companies, listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, and holding properties valued at SEK 39 billion.

They are found in five strong growth regions in southern Sweden and Denmark. They specialise in commercial properties and carry out operations through six wholly owned subsidiaries employing 300 people. They take good care of both properties and customers – with their own employees, their co-workers. They’re right there—on the spot—and can carry out quick decisions with a sense of personal responsibility. Their de-centralised working process creates better understanding; their co-workers engage and participate actively. This in turn, creates smoother operating processes and well-being, all around. Regular surveys measure how well they are perceived as employers, and in 2014, their NMI (Satisfied Employee Index) scored 96%. They also register customer satisfaction via an NKI (Satisfied Customer Index) and that’s how they know that 88% of their customers would recommend them as landlords.

Sustainability has always been a natural element of Castellum operations. As far-sighted property-owners, they focus on environmental, social and economic sustainability. This can cover everything from utilising natural resources as efficiently as possible, with reliable monitoring processes – to ensuring that their properties are environmentally certified. Moreover, Castellum actively contributes to the sustainable development of the cities which host their operations. The company also supports local young people through summer employment opportunities and apprentice programs.

Public Sector Leadership in Green Building

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) Regulations 2015 (England and Wales), Private Rental Sector Regulations Team, Department of Energy and Climate Change (UK)

In March 2015, the UK government brought in ground-breaking regulations addressing the energy inefficiency of existing building stock – the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015.

These regulations are ambitious, requiring energy efficiency upgrades to around 360,000 domestic, and 200,000 non-domestic, private rented properties in England and Wales, and providing a new right for tenants to request consent to improvements in up to 4.2 million domestic privately rented properties. The regulations address the barriers that prevent households and businesses in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) from benefitting from cost-effective energy efficiency measures. These include split incentives – where landlords bear much of the upfront costs while many of the benefits accrue to tenants – landlord or tenant inertia, and imperfect information.

The minimum standard provisions are expected to deliver around 1.8 MtCO2e in lifetime carbon savings in the domestic sector and around 9.8 MtCO2e in lifetime carbon savings in the non-domestic sector. The regulations have two key elements, subject to certain exemptions: new rights for tenants (from April 2016, domestic landlords may not unreasonably refuse a tenant’s request for consent to energy efficiency improvements), new minimum standards (from April 2018, before granting a new tenancy (whether to new or existing tenants) domestic and non-domestic landlords must ensure that their properties reach at least an E EPC rating or, where this is not possible, must install all improvements that are cost effective. From April 2020, these requirements will apply to all domestic private rented properties – including occupied properties, and from April 2023 they will apply to all properties in the non-domestic sector).

“Green building in Europe is beginning to move to centre stage. As the market makes this journey it is important that we shine a light on examples of leadership so others can be inspired and learn from them. We are delighted to honour our 2015 winners and nominees, all of which are superb examples of European green building leadership." - Dr Christine Lemaitre, Chair, Europe Regional Network.