In Germany the tradition of sustainable construction can be traced back to the seventies of the last century and beyond. At that time, the focus clearly was on energy and resource savings but also on protecting occupants’ health. However, a contradiction was perceived between environmental requirements / pressures and the economic goals of the construction and real estate industry. Sustainable construction was regarded as a "cost driver" whose financial benefits were very difficult to quantify / demonstrate.
In order to overcome existing misconceptions and alleged conflicting goals between environmental and economic issues within the industry, the Foundation "bauen-wohnen-leben" of the home savings and loan association "Schwäbisch-Hall" initiated the concept for an Endowed Institute at the Department of Economics and Management at KIT (formerly known as Universität Karlsruhe). The corresponding professorship was awarded to Thomas Lützkendorf in 2000. Within the same year, the Endowed Institute of Sustainable Management of Housing and Real Estate started its research and educational activities. Until 2010, the Institute was generously supported by Foundation "bauen-wohnen-leben". Following a positive evaluation, the Institute became a permanent feature at KIT.
Since the time of its foundation the Institute – with its unique profile – was able to successfully establish itself within the national and international research and education community.
Against the background of a long-standing collaboration (dating back to 2005) between the Institute of Sustainable Management of Housing and Real Estate and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the opportunity to set up a Shared Professorship on Property Valuation and Sustainability arose in 2010. The professorship was awarded to David Lorenz in 2012.
The research and educational profiles of the Institute and the Shared Professorship were combined into the Centre for Real Estate in 2014.