In terms of market value of yield-producing properties, Allreal is the third-largest listed property company in Switzerland. Across its two divisions – Real Estate and Projects & Development – the company is well aware of its environmental responsibilities. Sustainable construction, whether with high-quality construction materials or the use of renewable energy sources, seems to contradict the goal of cost-efficient construction – but only at first glance. The higher production costs are usually more than compensated for in the medium to long term by the lower operating expenses and longer life expectancy of the building.

Two decades of sustainable construction

In its 20-plus years of business, Allreal has made a name for itself as a pioneer and forerunner in the development, planning and realisation of environmentally exemplary projects. Allreal General­unternehmung AG is a member of the Minergie Association and has realised around 600 Minergie buildings in projects for itself or for third parties since 2000. These include the zero-heating-energy Eulachhof complex in Winterthur, which received the Swiss Solar Award and the Watt d’Or Award. Moreover, Allreal’s own Richti Wallisellen project became Switzerland’s first site development project which meets the targets of the 2000-Watt society vision. In Mönchaltorf, Allreal realised one of the first residential complexes to comply with the Minergie A standard.

Reducing the urban heat island effect is a hot topic right now. The effects of the heat are felt so much more intensely in cities than anywhere else on hot days. Zurich is aiming to work with private property owners to boost the climate credentials in Zurich-West in particular given that it is one of the hardest-hit areas in the city. Allreal realised a six-floor commercial building at Hardstrasse 301 in the Escher-Wyss industrial area. The replacement new build completed in December 2020 was designed by Caruso St John Architects and has 5,800 square metres of floor space. From the top to the bottom of the sides of the building that face north and south, green concrete planters sit below each row of ribbon windows. And some 300 plants and shrubs are being grown across 180 square metres in those planters. With nature having been considered in the design of the outdoor spaces too, this property really does its bit to improve local climate conditions.

Energy consumption and CO2 emissions

GRI 302-1, 302-3, 305-2

Energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by renovating buildings and infrastructure in yield-producing properties. Facilities are also operated in a way which optimises energy as much as possible. By adopting this approach, Allreal is ensuring that the people inside the rented spaces are adequately comfortable whilst guaranteeing that the buildings are energy-efficient. For new-build projects, especially those it develops in-house, Allreal applies high standards (such as Minergie-P) and uses future-oriented technologies.

There are three main drivers for energy consumption:

Environmental conditions

As a significant proportion of the energy is required to heat the buildings, the environmental conditions during winter have a direct effect on consumption. The majority of changes in energy consumption are directly dependent on the accumulation of heating degree days.

Building operation and user behaviour

In addition to basic energy consumption, the occupancy of a rental space is primarily relevant to consumption. Generally speaking, this cannot be directly influenced by the building owner.

Building materials

The buildings and related infrastructure are upgraded according to the respective age of construction or renovation. As a rule, newer buildings account for lower specific energy consumption than older buildings. This is where the largest potential lies for reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Through major periodic refurbishments, the building materials and infrastructure in the portfolio properties are continuously modernised and adapted to the latest technology.

The reported energy consumption covers all yield-producing properties which were owned by Allreal in the financial year up to 31 December. Buildings which were not rented out during the reporting period owing to complete renovations or refurbishments are not included. If properties were transferred to the portfolio of yield-producing properties during the accounting period, these are included in the energy balance for the first time if consumption data is available for an entire billing period. As such, it may be that the number of properties with an energy evaluation is lower than the number of properties reported in the annual report.

In the 2020 financial year, these were 20 residential properties and 39 commercial properties with a total of 768,693 square metres of rentable space. The total has increased by 40,371 square metres compared to the previous year, with two more residential properties and one more commercial property having been added.

The overall energy consumption dropped by 2.3% to 66.02 gigawatt hours in total despite the fact that the rentable space increased by 4.8%. Furthermore, the proportion of energy provided by heating oil has been reduced further to 6.4%.

Allreal managed to cut back on the use of district heating by some considerable margin in the 2020 financial year – mainly by making good use of waste heat from the cooling systems at one of its largest yield-producing properties. This equates to a saving of 2.32 gigawatt hours or 10% compared to the previous year.

The energy consumption per square metre of rentable space within Allreal’s yield-producing property portfolio has been steadily decreasing since 2015. And this trend is continuing despite the vacancy rate reaching a new record low of 1.4% during the year under review. The energy intensity came in at 90 KWh/m2 in 2020, compared to 92.2 KWh/m2 in the previous year.

Energy consumption contains the following components:

  • Primary energy demand for room heating and electrical energy for heat pump systems
  • Electrical energy used in the common areas and in general infrastructure, such as stairwells, corridors, lifts, refrigeration equipment and ventilation systems

The consumption of electrical energy inside the rented spaces is not taken into account. Tenants obtain this energy directly from suppliers.

Allreal is now also working to improve the quality of the electrical energy it purchases from third parties. The proportion of electricity produced by hydropower in Switzerland was 99.9% in the yearunder review. That equates to around 15,466,870 kilowatt hours. The remaining 0.1% of electricity is produced by solar power and waste incineration. Allreal does not rely on any electricity produced using fossil fuels or nuclear power.

Energy consumption and CO2 emissions were recorded in line with the recommendations of “Life Cycle Assessment Data in the Construction Sector 2009/1:2016” from KBOB/eco-bau/IPB. This defines key figures for various energy sources – such as natural gas, heating oil, district heating and electricity – which take into account energy production, as well as distribution and provision.

Total of 59 residential and commercial properties with a total rentable area of 768,693 m2.

Total of 59 residential and commercial properties with a total rentable area of 768,693 m2.

All of the energy sources that supply the buildings in Allreal's portfolio are purchased from third parties. Allreal neither owns nor manages its own energy production plants, such as cogeneration plants, and therefore does not cause any direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The indirect energy-related greenhouse gas emissions refer exclusively to the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2). Other gases relevant to the greenhouse effect are not accounted for.

The amount of CO2 emissions is calculated as a CO2 equivalent based on the energy sources and the allocated key figures. The reporting and establishment of key figures is carried out in the same way as for reported energy consumption.

As no other relevant gases aside from CO2 are emitted, it is not necessary to consider the global warming potential (GWP) and its effects over a period of 100 years. Reporting is carried out exclusively using the Allreal portfolio under review, and does not contain any traded GHG emissions or any other indirect GHG emissions.

Indirect energy-related greenhouse gas emissions

in t CO2 equivalent


Indirect energy-related greenhouse gas emissions

in kg CO2 equivalent/m2 of rentable area