Commitment Includes Worlds First Sustainable LEED Communities With the Minha Casa Minha Vida Government Housing Programme.
GO BIG OR GO HOME! That is the Bauen Group's motto concerning their green initiative, announced earlier this week for their Brazilian social housing operations. The project’s first phase includes a platform that generates more than US$300 million in transaction volume across various Brazilian states within the next 3 years. Sustainability will be embedded into its development processes, implementing a “Green” design and Carbon Offset plan in core infrastructure, high performance buildings, clean energy production, water usage, waste handling, and passive cooling/heating strategies. The initiative encompasses all phases from origination of investments to underwriting, due diligence, construction, carbon credit production and ongoing asset management in an effort to improve the environmental performance of the governmental projects, while positively impacting the welfare and quality of living of tenants, as well as to improve the life-cycle value of the properties.
The announcement was made by Bauen Capital International (bauencapital.com), financial division of The Bauen Group of Companies, after a series of successful preliminary meetings between Bauen executives and COHAB (cohab.mg.gov.br) the Brazilian State of Minas Gerais housing secretary, for a partnership to create a “First-Of-Its-Kind” statewide sustainable housing programme. Bauen Group also unveiled its new partnership with Construtora Modelo (construtoramodelo.com.br) and Incorporadora Quartzo (vivaquartzo.com.br). The partnership will allow Bauen to access the elements of the Brazilian Government Housing programme while implementing Bauen’s technologies, thus improving the environmental performance of its jointly developed properties. Phase 1 of the Bauen programme launched in the first quarter of 2011. Bauen has been working over the past year with major Brazilian cities and members of the international business community to implement sustainable technologies and development strategies in large urban developments. Bauen’s Green Initiative and partnership with Modelo/Quartzo was presented by J. Claudio Escobar, CFO of the Bauen Group and former EDC [Export Development Bank Canada] (edc.ca) Chief Executive/Director of Brazil and Southern-Cone.
Andrew Switzer de Guimarães, Executive Founding Chairman of the Bauen Group, said his businesses' and the Brazilian - Minha Casa Minha Vida [MCMV] housing programmes sheer size necessitates action. "It is recognized that the building sector is one of the largest contributors to global GHG emissions [+15%], with residential buildings producing between 60-70 percent of these emissions annually," Switzer said. "We believe the Bauen Group is in a position to reduce those numbers. MCMV one of the world's most ambitious and largest housing projects [3 million homes], and Bauen, owners of commercial properties with thousands of homes in our Brazilian development portfolio, we believe we can make a significant, positive impact on the environment and benefit our business."
Switzer added: "We are also pleased to be partnering with Modelo/Quartzo and the MCMV Programme. Together with our Brazilian partners, we see an opportunity that has been for the most part overlooked. The green building movement has thus far focused primarily on high-end development. We see a significant opportunity to improve the environmental performance of all types of properties, including social and middle-class developments."
Jose Olinto, Executive of BLX, Bauen’s Brazilian operating company said he was pleased that Bauen Group has made this commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and change Brazilians’ lives for the better. "The tools we need to dramatically reduce our carbon emissions exist today," he said. "When it comes to climate change, the hurdles we face in Brazil are technological and organizational, which is why we are partnering with government agencies, cities, businesses, nonprofits and schools alike to design projects and programs that reduce energy consumption. I'm grateful to them all for working to show the world that the solution to the climate crisis isn't far off in the future -- it's in the buildings we inhabit, our civic infrastructure and the way we organize our lives, with Brazil leading the way."
Bauen’s overall commitment will include the following:
• Implementation within its development portfolio of financially attractive environmental improvements using “high-performance” materials, energy, environmental products and audits;
• Energy, carbon and environmental metrics on assets will be tracked, just as financial performance is tracked;
• USGBC's LEED rating system and international equivalents will be used as a framework to benchmark Bauen’s portfolio;
• Learnings and best practices will be shared with Bauen’s customers and business partners to help extend the impact to the owners of the properties the company develops -- a US$ +600 million portfolio supporting over 4000 buildings nationally;
• Engaging partners, customers and vendors across its global network of more than 1,000 relationships on green issues.
The program will build on Bauen Capital’s existing work in the green movement. Inspired by Bauen Elements, Bauen’s platform initiative designed to help investors improve their environmental and financial performance, Bauen Capital has undertaken a number of core “green” investment initiatives, including a pipeline of projects in development in the U.A.E., Argentina, Brazil, Spain and Columbia. The Elements platform will offer transparent and innovative sustainable investment opportunities in 5 key sectors; Real Estate, High Performance Materials, Clean Energy, Water Treatment and Carbon Credits, within the Bauen and select strategic partners portfolios.
Bauen Capital through BLX also owns Bauen Realty, which has an active carbon offset program and currently possesses one of the largest portfolios of energy efficient buildings in a single residential portfolio. Residencial Waterside, a 200 unit project located in Espirito Santo Brazil, the first of Bauen’s MCMV housing projects under the new initiative aims to lower annual electric energy consumption by approximately 3.5 million kilowatt hours. More than 2 thousand metric tons of CO2 emissions will eliminated annually, which represent a 45.9% reduction compared to typical Brazilian homes and the equivalent of taking more than 378 cars off the road or powering more than 250 homes every year. Currently Bauen Capital is analyzing the possibilities of structuring this portfolio to become the world’s first large-scale residential social housing projects to produce carbon credits, which will be sold internationally with its proceeds returning directly to the tenants.
About Bauen Group Of Companies
At Bauen (bauencapital.com) we envision a future where community and business growth are aligned with the long-term health and vitality of the planet. As a diversified services, technology and manufacturing group with operations worldwide proving to be a leading provider of green development solutions, Bauen Group of Companies asset base include state-of-the-art industrial facilities, real estate development, investment and financial services, proprietary green technologies and a “Turn-Key” approach, that combines the established presences of a local firm with the strength, stability and resources of a global company. With a 84% compound annual growth rate since inception, Bauen is one of the world's fastest growing and most profitable development groups. This extraordinary record of success grows out of a reputation for collaboration and partnership; a depth of knowledge and experience leveraging more than 100 years of international experience, systems and technology and a history of building relationships, creating innovative opportunities and opening doors.