Jamestown Properties, a German commercial real estate investment company, is on a mission to make nearly its entire $4 billion portfolio of U.S. buildings environmentally sustainable, reports the New York Times. The company believes it can recover the costs of the building retrofits through energy savings, higher resale values and higher rents.
U.S. commercial building owners are projected to spend about $5.6 billion a year on energy-efficiency consulting services, according to new report, which means more companies are starting to realize the benefits from building retrofits.
A UK study released last year shows that commercial building owners can reap higher rental premiums for green buildings. Based on a sample of transaction prices for 292 Energy Star and 30 LEED-certified buildings, price premiums were 10 percent and 31 percent, respectively.
Jamestown plans to spend $3 million to $10 million to retrofit all of its properties. That will include simple projects such as installing low-flow water fixtures to reduce water consumption, adjusting fan speeds or repairing controls as well as more complex upgrades for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems to cut energy use, according to the article.
The real estate investment firm recently acquired Green Street Properties, a green consulting and development company in Atlanta, which is taking the lead in ‘greening’ its portfolio of existing buildings.
The company has nearly completed the conversion of a 621,000-square-foot office building at 999 Peachtree Street in Atlanta that has earned the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold certification. The building features energy-efficient lighting that saves 476,000 kilowatt hours annually; recycles paper and uses sustainable Post-it notes and file folders. The building also started programs for bicycle sharing and carpooling and added a Zipcar station.
Jamestown is also retrofitting two buildings in Manhattan — 1250 Broadway and Chelsea Market. While the 770,000-square-foot Broadway building is expected to obtain LEED Gold certification, Chelsea Market isn’t considered a good candidate because it is old and consists of 17 buildings, but it will get a rooftop market garden, reports the New York Times.
An energy audit at 1250 Broadway has already yielded a 15 percent reduction in annual energy consumption and carbon emissions.