The demand for “green” offices in Thailand will grow when the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) comes into effect in 2015, as more multinationals setting up regional operations will opt for renting such facilities rather than normal office buildings, according to an expert.
Assistant Professor Atch Sreshthaputra, a lecturer in the Architecture Faculty of Chulalongkorn University and an expert in green buildings, said most property developers still had concerns about the cost of constructing green buildings, believing that the investment would be higher than for a normal building.
In fact, he said, green-building design is not necessarily that expensive, with some projects costing about the same to construct as a standard building, and no greater than 10 per cent more costly, as architectural design matches the local environment.
Thailand well placed to attract multinationals seeking HQ in Asean
“I am a consultant for the design of the Park Venture office building on Wireless Road, for which an application has been made for a green certificate from the Thai Green Building Institute, and which has been granted LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] Platinum certification from the US.
“For this project, the investment cost is only 10 per cent above that for the same standard building type, but the building owner is offering rental prices more than 20 per cent higher than for other office buildings in the same location. This shows that tenants are willing to pay to get the best environment in which to work,” he said.
Moreover, when the AEC becomes effective in 18 months’ time, Thailand will offer the best location for multinational firms interested in expanding their investment within Asean, with green offices being the first choice for most of them seeking a head office in the region, he added.