The Scottish Government has set the most ambitious targets in a bid to be the first home nation economy to achieve net zero. With this drive to net zero comes a myriad of opportunities including, the opportunity to create and retain a skilled green workforce to achieve net zero ambitions, the opportunity to attract investment by those recognising the economic and social returns that net zero will bring and the opportunity to build cities and regions which are healthier and more attractive to work and live in.

Real estate of all types and sizes will play a central part in the road to Net Zero Carbon across Scotland. It is expected that the vast majority of Scotland's existing building stock will still be occupied in 2045, meaning that retrofitting and repurposing will be high on the property agenda for the next few decades.

New homes and commercial properties will have to meet increasingly stringent sustainability requirements to ensure they both meet Net Zero and are climate resilient. We are already seeing this in the prohibition of direct emissions heating systems in new buildings. Such energy efficiency and low carbon heating requirements will have a significant impact on existing and new real estate but with the requirements will also come significant opportunities at an infrastructure level in respect of those new heating networks, EV charging places, and for the construction of and investment in new energy efficient developments.

Climate change targets will become even more ambitious and real estate will be at the very heart of the solution. Much needed clarity for property owners and occupiers on the requirements and costs of meeting those climate change targets should come at least in part with the Scottish Governments Heat in Buildings Bill which should be published this year.

Scotland and its real estate sector will need to continue to adapt to and evolve with the challenges and seize the opportunities that come from striving to meet Net Zero Carbon targets. Different parts of the country will have different issues to deal with and accompanying opportunities to exploit. See our city and regional commentaries for more detail.


Catriona Heggie

Senior Associate

Jenna McCosh

Senior Associate

Breda Deeley

Senior Associate

Catherine Reilly

Director of Knowledge (Real Estate)