Promoting sustainable real estate will allow Mauritius to attract not only foreign investors. It will also contribute to the protection of the environment. This is what Stéphanie Domaingue, Property Executive of the Alteo real estate division, Anahita Beau Champ, says. However, she mentions challenges in this approach.
How are Alteo's strategic pillars, SmartEst, GreenEst and HealthiEst, integrated into Anahita Beau Champ's plan to create a sustainable and well-being-focused environment?
Our Anahita Beau Champ Smart City effectively integrates these three strategic pillars. Thus, SmartEst, which promotes smart agriculture, employment and entrepreneurship focused on high-value economic growth and innovation, materializes through five hectares of agricultural production in the heart of the Smart City. We are also actively working to create an agritech hub that houses cutting-edge companies in this sector. GreenEst aims to preserve and strengthen the authentic rural identity of the place through the use of green energy and the rehabilitation of old buildings. We plan to transform our old factory into a place to live and work. In addition, we have preserved mature green spaces, which we will transform into places to relax and walk for our residents and visitors. Finally, the third pillar, HealthiEst, advocates an active lifestyle imbued with well-being. We have created numerous spaces conducive to the practice of physical activities and relaxation. We thus adhere to the key principle of well-being as a concept of living and working in the east.
Can you explain to us the recent WELL pre-certification that your Smart City obtained? What are the criteria and standards for environmental well-being in this process?
This distinction, awarded by the International WELL Building Institute, is the first of its kind in the Indian Ocean. It demonstrates our determination to anchor the factors of well-being and fulfillment at the heart of the design of the Smart City. WELL Community certification is a global standard. It assesses environmental health and well-being in real estate projects. It considers ten main axes to evaluate communities. It’s about air quality, water quality, food. There is also the quality of natural and artificial lighting, acoustic comfort and thermal comfort. The use of ecological and local materials, the promotion of physical health, the promotion of psychological health and community life are also taken into account. This pre-certification is an important step towards obtaining global WELL Community certification, which will recognize the pioneering role of our project in the region.
Ecological properties are more popular”
How does Anahita Beau Champ plan to maintain and promote the well-being and fulfillment factors of residents and visitors throughout each phase of the project?
Maintaining and promoting the well-being and development of residents and visitors is integrated into each stage of our project. Our master plan is designed to embrace a holistic approach to well-being, which goes beyond simple constructions. Our commitment is reflected in the choice of materials, water and energy management. And construction practices minimize environmental impact. Public spaces are designed to promote connection and social interaction, essential for psychological well-being. In addition, the services and amenities offered: schools, health centers and commercial spaces are well thought out. They meet the needs of residents while creating a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
What are the specific challenges and opportunities related to promoting sustainable real estate on the island?
Promoting sustainable real estate in Mauritius presents both unique challenges and exciting opportunities. The main challenge lies in the limited availability of sustainable building materials locally. This situation pushes us to look for innovative alternatives, which can sometimes be more expensive or difficult to obtain. However, it is also an opportunity for Mauritius' construction industry to move towards more environmentally friendly and energy efficient methods.
Another challenge is raising awareness and educating consumers and investors about the benefits of sustainable real estate. While environmental awareness is increasing overall, there is still work to increase awareness. The long-term benefits of sustainable buildings, both environmentally and economically, must be explained.
The promotion of sustainable real estate offers Mauritius the chance to position itself as a leader in the region in terms of sustainable development. Which can attract not only environmentally conscious investors. This is about protecting our unique natural environment, a crucial aspect for the island. Finally, a focus on sustainability is driving innovation in building materials, energy technologies, and water management practices. Which can create new industries and job opportunities. This holistic approach benefits the environment and strengthens the local economy. It creates markets for sustainable products and services.
Have you observed any changes in buyer or renter preferences in Mauritius when it comes to sustainable properties?
We have found that customers are very conscious of electricity and water costs when purchasing or renting. Ecological properties are therefore more prized. The announcement of our WELL pre-certification increased customer interest. Foreign customers, accustomed to standards already incorporating many sustainable elements, are showing keen interest.
What challenges do you foresee for the real estate sector in Mauritius in the years to come?
We anticipate several challenges. There is access to short-circuit green materials and the absence of construction standards adapted to our bioclimate. There is also lack of awareness of sustainable practices and limited infrastructure for waste management. However, there are significant opportunities such as international demand for sustainable development. The Economic Development Board's Smart City Scheme encourages sustainable living. And environmental certifications are pushing the industry in a greener direction.