What’s tall and green and cross-docked – the warehouse of the future

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BNP Paribas Real Estate’s Warehouse of the Future report in conjunction with developer Gazeley and Legal & General, points to sustainability as being at the forefront of occupier’s requirements with 86 per cent of respondents agreeing that sustainability initiatives are important to the future of warehousing.

It was noted that over two thirds of the occupiers surveyed would pay a rent premium for a green unit IF it saved on operational costs. In addition to this, over three quarters of respondents stated that they would look favourably on warehousing that was powered by some form of sustainable energy such as wind, solar, biomass or energy from waste.

While developers may look upon this favourably the demands from occupiers for cross docking and higher eaves heights will add increased costs.

Kevin Mofid, associate director in research at BNP Paribas Real Estate said: “Both of these preferences will result in higher costs for developers which will translate in to higher rental values.  They could also have implications for obtaining planning permission as taller buildings, as a result of high eaves, will have more of a visual impact on the landscape.

Costs saving initiatives were also found by BNP Paribas Real Estate to have strong resonance with occupiers.  Three quarters of those surveyed said that they would occupy a shared facility if it saved money; whilst rent free periods remain the preferred incentive for most tenants when securing new space. 

Capital contributions and a basic level of fit out were also received positive sentiment, which could be put down to occupiers being adverse to capital expenditure in the current economic climate.  In terms of future warehouse leases it seems the trend of shorter leases will continue as a significant majority of respondents pointed to an increased requirement for short term flexible space.
Kevin Mofid, logistics analyst at BNP Paribas Real Estate concludes: “Our results show that the warehouse of the future is a cross docked, energy efficient, multi user unit which has access to rail and is within striking distance of the East Coast ports.”

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