Engel & Völkers Licence Partner Basel > Blog > Cradle to Cradle - building for eternity

Cradle to Cradle - building for eternity

The Cradle to Cradle principle developed by Michael Braungart and William McDonough shows how products can be recycled or composted in waste-free cycles. The construction and real estate industry also benefits from the concept of recyclable materials and buildings. This is because sustainable construction with recyclable products, non-toxic and compostable building materials as well as renewable energies does more than just leave a small ecological footprint.

Find out why Cradle to Cradle will revolutionise classic recycling and what impact CtC has on the sustainability and lifespan of entire buildings.

 4051 Basel
- Find out why Cradle to Cradle will revolutionise classic recycling and what impact CtC has on the sustainability and lifespan of entire buildings.

Intelligent architecture right from the start

Circular construction means holistic construction in which every component, every building and every city is part of a dynamic whole. The concept is based on nature, whose cycles are waste-free and where everything at the end of its life cycle again serves as a building block for new life.

This concept, propagated by chemist Michael Braungart and architect William McDorough, is already being implemented in many areas of life in the form of compostable T-shirts or edible drinking straws. But this sustainable principle is also applicable to the construction and real estate industry. Especially in places where even recyclable materials eventually end up on the rubbish dump, intelligent planning and construction can facilitate an environmentally friendly and future-oriented reintegration of all components and materials. For example, ceramic tubes can be used that are completely made of pollutant-free, natural raw materials. Panel materials made of cellulose fibres from sources such as waste paper, agricultural residues and more can also be used here. Reusable glass partitions and similar systems could also be considered.

Building owners and architects are equally required to implement the concept of the permanent cycle in the planning and construction of future buildings. Ultimately, we are talking about two cycles, the technical and the biological cycle, which both have the same goal: the basic principle of CtC, namely consistent waste avoidance by reintegrating all materials into the cycle of nature and upcycling all technical equipment.

Zero-energy houses that do not require external energy and components that can be redesigned or recycled even after the end of their life cycle are important prerequisites for sustainable living

Buildings as raw material banks

Anyone investing in this seminal architecture today is not only investing in buildings, but above all in commodity and raw material banks.

In the event of a possible demolition of the building, no disposal costs are incurred, as no waste is produced in the first place. This, of course, also influences property prices 

State funding may be requested to finance buildings constructed according to the CtC principle. KfW, for example, provides a wide range of funding programmes.

The Umweltbank also supports ecological construction projects with favourable loans.

There are international evaluation systems for assessing the sustainability of a building or construction project, such as the BREEAM system in Europe, the LEED system in the USA or the HQE system in France. In Germany, the German Sustainable Building Council (Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen) is responsible for the evaluation and certification of corresponding construction methods.

All in all, there are many good reasons to invest in such properties. Because the future begins now!

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Basel - Facts and figures

With around 200,000 inhabitants, the city of Basel on the Rhine is the third largest city in Switzerland and the economic and cultural heart of the canton that goes by the same name. Bordered by Germany, France and Switzerland, Basel is positioned as the centre of a tri-national conurbation with a total of more than 830,000 inhabitants.


Real estate in Basel - the market situation in 2018

The city of Basel is considered to be an extremely attractive and dynamic business hub. Basel's interesting location, coupled with international companies from the life science, financial and insurance services sectors, continue to attract a clientele with strong purchasing power. These factors, combined with the city's high quality of life, keep the demand for living space consistently high.

Mortgage interest rates are still at an all-time low. Housing prices in Basel have risen by 53% in the last ten years (according to real estate service provider IAZI). However, the pricing trends in the real estate market have somewhat stabilised. 

The real estate market in Basel-City is experiencing an increasing appreciation due to the districts’ encouraging development policies. This results in new, high-quality construction and restoration projects that meet the needs of every target group. This development allows the residential property market to continue to flourish.


Business and real estate in Basel

Basel is a key location for the chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. Bordered by three countries, the city is home to one of the largest marshalling yards in Europe, making the logistics sector another economic contributor. The University of Basel, housing the internationally renowned “Biozentrum”, helps promote the city, making Basel attractive for private individuals looking to invest their money in real estate. Properties can be used simultaneously as apartments and offices, or the space can be split into apartments and offices to let.

Renting out in the university town is a good opportunity to earn back your property investment in Basel. At the beginning of each semester, new students are looking for a room or a 3 to 4 bedroom apartments (shared flat) to live in. Commercial areas are also in demand, meaning that large rooms in a house can be rented out as offices. The use of rooms as offices should not pose a problem for the tenants in the surrounding apartments, when activities are limited to administrative tasks and visitor traffic does not disturb the peace of the house.


What is cheaper - buying or renting?

This question cannot be answered across the board for everyone interested in real estate in Basel, because an objective comparison is not possible. Investors looking to invest their money into an apartment building, an apartment or a house can only compare among the current offers. There is no property prices indexing for Swiss price statistics. This is where your real estate agent comes in. He / she knows the housing market in Basel and the different locations within the region in and out. The location and lettability of a property play an important role for investors who want to buy an apartment or an apartment building in Basel.

Buying real estate in Basel is always worthwhile for interested parties interested in generating a secure long-term income or use the premises themselves. Those who want to buy the living space for personal use have specific concerns such as finding locations with bright, quiet and beautiful rooms, or properties with a balcony, a terrace or a garden. Parking spaces within the immediate vicinity may also be a criteria to certain buyers.


Find top properties in Basel

If you want to rent an apartment in Basel and compare market prices, the current rent index is a good place to start. In addition, our experienced real estate agents are happy to provide estimations on expected costs. Regardless of the exact location, you will generally pay less than CHF 20 per m², with the old town being the most expensive neighborhood. In districts such as Iselin, St. Johann, Clara, Wettstein, Hirzbrunnen, Rosental, Matthäus, Klybeck, Kleinhüningen and Riehen Bettingen, average rents can fall below CHF 15/m². Our brokers can help you find your ideal property for rent.

If you are thinking long-term and interested in buying a property in Basel, you are in excellent hands with our real estate consultants’ professional support. He / she knows the exact purchase prices within individual locations in Basel, and understands the real estate purchase methods in Switzerland very well.


Your real estate agent in Basel

Selling and acquiring a property is a big step - there are many details to consider. Trust the experience of an expert to be on the safe side in selling and buying real estate in Basel!


Links to Engel & Völkers regional Basel offices

=> Real estate agents in Rheinfelden & Fricktal

=> Real estate agents in Liestal & Upper Basel area