From showroom lighting to heating systems to compressed air in the workshops – emissions have a wide variety of sources in the more than 120 operations of VGRD GmbH. This complexity requires that emissions reductions and energy consumption trends be approached holistically.
Katja von Rhein, architect for investment projects at VGRD GmbH: “Our common goal in the project team with Volkswagen Immobilien, the construction consultancy and the user are to plan new construction projects that have a perspective of being CO₂-neutral during operation. This involves doing without fossil fuels, using renewable electricity, expanding photovoltaics, converting our vehicle fleet, and much more. We reduce the CO₂ emissions and thus the carbon footprint of the respective building and at the same time also the costs of ongoing operations.”
Judith Lehmann, responsible for commercial real estate at Volkswagen Immobilien: “Our work doesn’t stop at the goal of CO₂ neutrality. Acting sustainably means focusing on the environment, people – whether customers or employees – and the overall economic efficiency of the property over its entire life cycle. For holistic sustainable building design, we work closely with the German Sustainable Building Council and develop an assessment profile that takes into account the special characteristics of retailer real estate. We are currently certifying two pilot projects that will be completed in 2021 and 2022.”
The Volkswagen Immobilien Blue Building Standard ensures the realization of environmentally friendly, economical and user-oriented buildings. Since 2017, Volkswagen Real Estate has been implementing all new construction projects under the label in accordance with the KfW 55 energy efficiency standard or better. In 2019, the label was expanded to include sustainability certification by the German Sustainable Building Council.
The Hanover Podbi car dealership
After a construction period of around 14 months, a positive example in Hanover was completed at the end of 2015. Volkswagen Immobilien (VWI) developed and realized the project on behalf of Volkswagen Automobile Hannover. The focus was on a sustainable and resource-saving construction method: With an energy-efficient combined heat and power plant, LED lighting, an innovative ventilation system and photovoltaic modules on the roof, the car dealership was built in accordance with VWI’s own “Blue Building Standard”.
By the way: In times of limited space, especially in metropolitan regions, sustainability also means building in a space-saving way. On the roof of the Hanover Podbi dealership’s workshop is a parking deck that, with around 120 spaces, makes efficient use of the available area.