GACSO briefing

4th November 2015


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Adaptation ,
  • Mitigation ,
  • Business & Industry ,
  • Built environment

Author

Claire Williams

Value of green buildings significantly greater than their additional costs, finds Jae Mather

As sustainable construction and green building certification become more prevalent and the industry matures, there is increasing evidence of what many in the construction sector have felt for a long time: sustainable construction delivers significant added value.

Value should include financial benefits, such as decreased running and maintenance costs and increased rents, as well as other, less tangible elements. These include higher levels of occupier satisfaction and retention; less sickness absence among occupants; measurable improvements in productivity - often due to improved ventilation and internal air quality, and lighting that moves beyond simple LUX levels into virtual day lighting and varying light colour, for example.

A 10-year study of Canadian property management company Bentall Kennedy, published in The Journal of Portfolio Management, which examined financial performance data from across the firm's portfolio of 5.4 million m2 of assets, further demonstrates that green buildings deliver much greater value than the additional costs sometimes associated with their development and construction.

Some highlights of the study include:

  • Energy consumption was 14% lower per m2 in US commercial properties certified to the LEED (Leadership in energy and environmental design) green building standard than in buildings without certification.
  • Net effective rents were, on average, 3.7% higher in LEED-certified properties in the US than in similar non-certified buildings.
  • Rent concessions for LEED and BOMA BEST (Canada's green building certification programme) buildings are on average 4% lower than in similar non-certified buildings.
  • Occupancy rates over the 10-year period were 18.7% higher in Canadian buildings with both LEED and BOMA BEST certification, and 9.5% higher in US buildings with ENERGY STAR certification, than in buildings without certifications.
  • Tenant renewal rates were 5.6% higher in commercial buildings in Canada with BOMA BEST level-3 certification than in buildings that did not meet the standard.
  • Tenant satisfaction scores were 7% higher in Canadian buildings with BOMA BEST level 3 and 4 certification than in non-certified buildings.

Over the typical lifespan of a building these added values contribute to significant environmental and financial benefits. As time passes it becomes ever more obvious that sustainability equals business common sense.

Subscribe

Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.


Transform articles

UK off track for net zero by 2030, CCC warns

Only a third of the emission reductions required for the UK to achieve net zero by 2030 are covered by credible plans, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) has warned today.

18th July 2024

Read more

Almost three-fifths of UK environmental professionals feel there is a green skills gap across the country’s workforce, or that there will be, a new survey has uncovered.

4th July 2024

Read more

Climate hazards such as flooding, droughts and extreme heat are threatening eight in 10 of the world’s cities, new research from CDP has uncovered.

3rd July 2024

Read more

Ahead of the UK general election next month, IEMA has analysed the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and Green Party manifestos in relation to the sustainability agenda.

19th June 2024

Read more

Nine in 10 UK adults do not fully trust brands to accurately portray their climate commitments or follow the science all the time, a new survey has uncovered.

19th June 2024

Read more

Just one in 20 workers aged 27 and under have the skills needed to help drive the net-zero transition, compared with one in eight of the workforce as a whole, new LinkedIn data suggests.

18th June 2024

Read more

With a Taskforce on Inequality and Social-related Financial Disclosures in the pipeline, Beth Knight talks to Chris Seekings about increased recognition of social sustainability

6th June 2024

Read more

Disinformation about the impossibility of averting the climate crisis is part of an alarming turn in denialist tactics, writes David Burrows

6th June 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close