Green buildings have a number of different features that are great for the environment, but it turns out that they’re also great for the owners and landlords who rent them out.

A new study conducted at the University of Guelph shows that green office buildings have higher occupancy rates and more satisfied tenants.

Researchers reached this conclusion after analyzing ten years of data from one of North America’s largest commercial real estate firms. It examined many different kinds of variables, including monthly rents, lease renewals, energy and water consumption, and tenant satisfaction.

Higher Occupancy And Satisfaction

For nearly 300 green buildings in North America – 148 in Canada and 143 in the United States – green buildings scored better in these categories than their non-green counterparts. Buildings were only able to qualify for the study by meeting energy efficiency and sustainability standards based on LEED, BOMA BEST, and ENERGY STAR certification programs.

“This is one of the most in-depth analyses of sustainable and energy efficient building operations to date,” said Avis Devine, housing professor at Guelph.

Researchers found that occupancy rates in green buildings were higher in Canada and the United States by 18.7% and 9.5%, respectively. To some this may be surprising, considering that the average rent prices were 3.7% higher in both countries.

In Canada, tenant renewal rates were 5.6% higher for green buildings, and tenant satisfaction scores were 7% higher. Energy consumption was also much lower in green buildings. Researchers found that energy consumption per square foot was 14% lower in U.S. green buildings.

Unique And Precise

The study is a substantial due to its precise nature and the amount of data that was covered.

“Previous studies have suggested correlations between green buildings and financial outcomes but none have included such diverse metrics across a large portfolio, and covering such a substantial period of time,” said Devine.

The time reference is perhaps one of the best facets of the study that makes it unique. The 10-year period that the researchers analyzed stretched from 2004-2013, a time when North American housing markets went through boom, bust, and recovery periods.

The researchers hope that their study will allow green buildings to flourish in North American housing markets.

“Building owners and investors are affected by the choices they make on investments in energy and sustainability issues . . . This study is an important step toward mapping the business case for more sustainable building,” said Devine.

The full study has been published in the Journal of Portfolio Management.


Source: Consumer Affairs

It’s up to developers and city officials to protect projects in Miami Beach from the threat of global sea level rise, architect Reinaldo Borges warned an audience gathered inside a conference room at the W South Beach on Thursday.

“Developers need to change their perspective,” Borges said. “They go in with a short-term investment mentality. That mindset has to change.”

Business leaders discuss sea level rise at the Miami Beach Community Resiliency Summit

Business leaders discuss sea level rise at the Miami Beach Community Resiliency Summit

Borges, a principal of Borges & Associates Architects, lamented that hotel projects his firm worked on like the Royal Palm Miami Beach and the Bentley Beach Hotel will be negatively impacted by sea level rise. Before new projects break ground, Borges suggested city officials find ways to provide developers with incentives if they build structures at a higher elevation.

The Miami-based architect was part of a panel of business community leaders at the Miami Beach Community Resiliency Summit Friday morning. Other speakers such as Wendy Kallergis, president and CEO of the Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association, and Gabriole Van Bryce, a member of the association’s sustainable hospitality council, talked about successful efforts to convince builders and owners to make their properties greener.

“We have really helped hotels reduce the impact of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Van Bryce said. “We want to further reduce the effects of greenhouse emissions by promoting a cool roof initiative to place local gardens on rooftops.”

Al Roker, host and weatherman for NBC’s “Today Show,” kicked off the summit by providing attendees with a few cold hard facts about climate change. “In the next 50 years, Miami’s high tide will be five feet higher,” Roker said. “At the city’s 100th anniversary concert last night, I told the crowd, ‘I hope you’re enjoying this now because where you are standing now will be underwater one day.’”  The popular morning show personality also said the mainstream media made a mistake by coining the term “global warming,” instead of using “climate change.”

Following his presentation, Roker told The Real Deal that developers, city officials, and residents have to work together to address the real threat of climate change. “Everybody should be concerned,” Roker said. “Are buildings ready? Is the infrastructure ready? Those are all real concerns condo owners, private property owners, businesses and everybody should be concerned about.”


Source: The Real Deal

Many Miami real estate investors are doing their part to ward off global warming and save energy as the city ranked high for green commercial real estate.

A new study by CBRE Group and Maastrict University ranked Miami ninth in the nation, with 19.4 percent of its commercial real estate certified as green. There are 79 buildings totaling 21 million square feet of office space with either U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification or Energy Star labels.

Given that South Florida would be among the first places in the nation to be swamped by sea level rise, that’s a helpful move.

“Miami was slow to embrace green building standards relative to cities like San Francisco and Manhattan, but has caught up quickly thanks in part to good public policy and buy-in from owners and investors who realize there is growing demand from tenants for more sustainable, energy efficient space,” said Patricia Nooney, LEED AP, who leads investor services for CBRE Florida, in a news release.

In fact, Miami’s municipal code requires all new private development over 50,000 square feet to achieve LEED Silver certification.

The study rated Minneapolis as the greenest city for commercial real estate, with 77 percent of buildings certified as green.

Since 2005, the number of LEED certified buildings has increased more than 1,000 percent nationwide.

Florida homeowners are also going green. A recent study by the USGCB ranked Florida seventh for the most LEED-certified homes, with 1,860. California was first, with 9,186.


Source: SFBJ