A ‘healthy building rating’ system which certifies buildings on their ability to maintain clean and safe spaces, similar to the current Green Star and NABERS environmental ratings, could help commercial property to attract and retain quality tenants, according to a property valuation expert.

While some certification systems address air quality, Gregory Preston, Managing Director of property valuation firm, Preston Rowe Paterson, said a rating system devoted to health and ability to maintain clean and safe spaces has merit.

He was speaking at a recent property event held by Property Funds Association, the peak industry body for the unlisted property funds industry.

“The technology available for providing a clean and healthy working environment is evolving rapidly, and it’s probably just a matter of time before a healthy building rating is introduced.

“PropTech innovations including building monitoring systems, smarter air filtration, and ultraviolet light which can disinfect are becoming more common.”

While there would be costs involved in implementation there were benefits on valuations, for both owners and tenants, and for investors, Mr Preston said.

“Building owners would be more confident in getting tenants and in achieving higher rental returns while giving away fewer incentives.

“Owners would potentially enjoy stronger capitalisation rates and cash flows, attracting more investment.

“Tenants would be more confident in staff retention and getting their staff to return to the office.

“For valuations, anything which could reduce the potential for rental impairment is a good thing”, Mr Preston said.

Property Funds Association (PFA) CEO, Paul Healy, said such innovations had the potential to benefit investors. “New technologies which can make our commercial property assets safer will encourage and attract investors into property funds.

“PFA recently hosted a webinar together with the Israel Australia Chamber of Commerce and the ability for PropTech to create safer spaces is truly eye-opening, and inspiring.”