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CBRE: Green Office Buildings Provide Stronger Investment Returns

LEED Certified building – Chicago

An ongoing study spearheaded by the CBRE Group reveals that green office buildings generate stronger investment returns than traditional office buildings. The study, which was conducted by CBRE, the University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, and McGraw-Hill Construction, will be released later this year in a report entitled “Do Green Buildings Make Dollars and Sense?

The study was initiated three years ago with the mandate of measuring the economic performance of green buildings. Through an analysis of 150 CBRE-managed office buildings and surveys with over 2,500 building residents, the study determined that green buildings boast increased demand and higher value over the typical office building. Over a three year period, LEED certified buildings showed an improvement of 3.1% in both building occupancy and rental rates.

Although one might think that businesses would shy away from green buildings as a result of the economic downturn, the results from the survey suggest otherwise.

In particular, survey respondents reported an inclination for green building features when choosing office space, in addition to a healthy work environment. Green buildings were identified as a key component in employee satisfaction and productivity. 94% of tenant managers reported higher worker satisfaction and 19% of tenant respondents registered higher work productivity.

This highlights one of the often overlooked aspects of green office buildings: they save companies money by increasing the productivity of office workers. Although these benefits are perhaps less tangible, they should not be overlooked.

After all, employees’ salaries equate to roughly 90% of money flow through a building.

Green buildings have been receiving a lot of attention recently, with the construction of the Bullitt Center and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation campus in Seattle. Despite the economic downturn, I believe that green buildings will see continued growth over the next few years as their economic benefits become even more apparent.

Do you think that more companies would invest in green buildings if they were aware of the savings that could be made through increased worker productivity? Do you see continued growth for green office buildings?
Image CC licensed by dreamymo: LEED Certified, Chicago Center Fro Green Technology

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