LEED in Retail roundtable - organised by Energo


LEED for retail ... the sustainability designed to meet the unique   needs of retail and commercial spaces.

LEED in Retail roundtable, was an event, organized by ENERGO (a leading European company in sustainable design) and co-hosts LAFARGE and SAUTER, that takes place on 16th of April 2015 in Belgrade, Serbia.

On this occasion leaders in the retail industry internationally gather to share their diverse experiences, ideas and offer insight into the green development in the retail business, as well as to contribute valuable information about challenges and opportunities for future business development.

Special guests and participants at the roundtable, were:

  • Taryn Holowka Senior Vice President, Marketing, Communications & Advocacy of the United States Green Building Council
  • Joseph Crea international marketing and communications Director of the United States Green Building Council.
  •  Marija Golubović, Managing partner of ENERGO, USGBC faculty 

ABOUT LEED in Retail:

LEED in Retail gives a specific focus on buildings within the retail industry, with aim to improve business development through sustainable, energy efficient, staff and client eco-friendly environment.

LEED in Retail Roundtable – report

The roundtable was held at Metropol Palace Hotel in Belgrade on Thursday 16th April 2015, on the subject of  green practices in the Retail world, in particular about application of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental design) rating system. 

LEED in Retail roundtable

Managing partner of ENERGO Ms. Marija Golubović opened the event, followed by great presentation of Ms. Taryn Holowka, Senior Vice President, Marketing, and Communications & Advocacy who  gave an overview of the USGBC and the LEED rating system – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and it’ application in Retail.

Taryn Holowka Senior Vice President, Marketing, Communications & Advocacy of the United States Green Building Council

Participants where leaders in Retail Industry, Financial institutions, Embassies, local  Government representatives, who all showed great interest in the subject and involvements in the discussion. The discussion was lively, interactive and extremely useful from the point of sharing experiences.

Joseph Crea international marketing and communications Director of the United States Green Building Council.

Representative of IKEA, Mr. V. N. said that his company is very aware of the need to implement sustainable practice, with reference to its People & Planet Positive manifesto that outlines its aim to become energy and resource independent by 2020. 

Marija Golubović, Managing partner of ENERGO, USGBC faculty 

Thereafter, Ms. Golubović led the discussion during which participants expressed their concerns and experiences regarding different aspects of the green building standards that their companies are already implementing. 

Daylight – as one of the LEED standards is seen as potential problematic issue due to tenants’ requirements to have as much exhibition space as possible, explained Mr. C. from GTC Croatia. This outlines the need to raise awareness amongst the retail store owners but also of their designers. 

Zara stores have been awarded LEED Platinum and Gold for their sustainability, pointed out Mrs. J. from INDITEX, which has only helped with their sales rates. 

Furthermore, representatives from co-sponsor of the roundtable LAFARGE Mr B. R. and Mrs. D. O. , presented their sustainable products and future goals for 2020. Building Better Cities shows how LAFARGE products are reducing carbon footprint during production phase and also as a final product, explained Mr. B. Examples mentioned were Aether cement, Hydromedia system and Ductal UHPC concrete, of which each has a specific application.

Sustainable transport – is an important aspect of LEED standardisation. All European cities are improving their bicycle infrastructure and commercial building developers are including showers as part of natural work environment. “Although shopping malls dislike when their car spaces are limited, it is crucial to have good public transport infrastructure so that visitors can access the retail space without having to use a car. This brought us a lot of points while certifying Ušće”, pointed out Ms. Golubović.     


Water efficiency – is also a crucial requirement considering the amount of water used in large public spaces. LEED offers various solutions such as automatic water taps, as were installed in Ušće, as well as waterless urinals. Some concerns were expressed on this issue especially regarding shopping mall owners’ skepticism about unpleasant odors, which is not the case in practice, as was explained by GTC Croatia who are already using waterless urinals. 

Energy efficiency – can be implemented in various ways. “It is one aspect to manage the public spaces, and another to manage tenants within our shopping mall” explained Mr. V. from MPC Properties. “Each tenant has their own practice and habits. We did a lot to raise their awareness on how to save energy”. Mrs. M. from OMV explained that they applied LED lights to all their properties: “It’s common sense for any company to want to reduce its energy usage”. Similarly IDEA and Mercator representatives pointed out that using doors on the fridges was one of the steps to maximize energy efficiency.   

Materials – entail not only materials used to build the building, but also waste and quantity. This means that recycling facilities are a must. With regards to using sustainable materials, Mr. S. from Startt in Rome pointed out that usually clients do not like using linoleum despite the positive environmental and hygiene aspects it has for the retail sector.

Mr. K. from Vojvodjanska banka and representative from Henkel, Mr. S., pointed out that a lot of LEED measures are being implemented within their companies. In fact Henkel Kruševac will go for LEED certification formally. 

Ms. Holowka then presented a new plaque that USGBC has developed for all new LEED certified buildings. The plaque shows use of all LEED aspects in real time, so water, energy, waste and so on. She explained that the plaque has been put in their LEED Platinum office in Washington which has helped them to see how the building and its employees are behaving. Namely their waste was increasing above the LEED Platinum levels. So they had to conscientiously increase their efforts to minimize waste. This is also why LEED is not for life in a sense that it needs to be constantly monitored, measured and renewed each 5 years. 

  Taryn Holowka Senior Vice President, Marketing, Communications & Advocacy of the United States Green Building Council

Sound – is an issue that is not regulated by LEED for retail, explained Ms. Holowka. There are USGBC regulations for schools and offices, but not for retails. Mr. Š. from the Building Directorate explained that this is also the case in Serbia, where there is a set noise limit for offices and apartments but not for retail spaces. 


Case study: Ušće shopping centre, Belgrade – LEED certified

The event showcased the first LEED certified shopping mall in Serbia, Ušće Shopping Center. Acting as the LEED project consultant and energy auditor, ENERGO has successfully brought the first LEED EBOM certification to Belgrade’s largest shopping center. 

Marija Golubović and representatives from Confluence , Ms.I. M. and Mr. R. V., presented the certification process that shopping centre Ušće underwent during the two year it took to convert it to the LEED approved standard for retail. Various situations were presented that reflected obstacles and challenges faced by the MPC Properties in order to bring the building to a desired standard. 

Marija Golubović, Managing partner of ENERGO, USGBC faculty 

Primarily considering cleaning services and cleaning products, we learned that a change to eco-friendly cleaning products were made. Similar to European Union Ecolabel standard, where cleaning companies are required to have a certain standard. 

Secondly, cleaning of all drainages and sewages is necessary to allow for good drainage. Thirdly, we learned that flower beds around Ušće do not have any chemical fertilisers.    

“The point was not to change things completely, but to adjust and use those advantages that we already have”, said Ms. M. Surveys of tenants were performed in order to asses energy usage and other relevant aspects. It turned out that some tenants were using more energy during closed hours than while open. Of course all surveys were monitored by the Green Building Institute in order to make sure that they were conducted in a structured way, as also required by LEED. 

Much was done with regards to water efficiency by installing sensory sinks in all public toilets. Water savings counted up to 5% in the first year and a further 1.6% in the second. “MPC did most adjustments in public spaces as tenants are difficult to motivate and do not invest, because they do not yet see the benefits of being a green retail”, concluded Ms. M.  

LEED says: YOU CANNOT MANAGE SOMETHING THAT YOU CANNOT MEASURE. So we see that 1C of temperature change saves up to 20% of heat energy. Ušće lowered its temperature which saved them a million kW in 1 year, or 6%, which then turned to further 10% in the second year. 

With regards to waste management, shopping malls throw 17 tonnes of cardboard monthly! It is thus crucial to have proper waste management system as well as recycling facilities for visitors and tenants. 

Coming to the point about ventilation and integrated building management Mr. M. V., representative of SAUTER, also a co-sponsor of the event, presented company policy and products that ensure proper long term sustainable approach to managing retail spaces, or any other building. 

Ms. Golubović closed the round table by summarising LEED, its mission and goals to improve the environment we live in, while increasing profitability. Within the retail industry, LEED is used to improve business development through sustainable, energy efficient, eco-friendly environment. 

Based on existing examples, the implementation of LEED certification is highly beneficial to retail project owners. Amongst its positive impacts are increased staff productivity figures and better customer response. 

All participants shared an honest enthusiasm about LEED rating system, and we expect to have many LEED retails in the region!

Huge  Thank You: to Lafarge, Sauter, USGBC, IKEA, Sberbank, Vojvodjanska Banka, GTC, OMV, Inditex, MPC, YU Capital, STARTT, PortoMontenegro, US Embassy, Building Directorate of Serbia, Henkel, Mercator, Confluence, Fashion Park Outlet, Retail See, Italian Embassy.

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