The US city with the highest percentage of green commercial space is Minneapolis, with 77 percent of its commercial real estate space certified as green, according to a study by CBRE Group and Maastricht University.
The city with the second-highest percentage of green space was San Francisco, at 67.2 percent, followed by Chicago at 62.1 percent, Houston at 54.8 percent and Atlanta at 54.1 percent.
The study also noted that since 2005, Energy Star-labeled buildings have increased nearly 600 percent, and the proportion of buildings that are LEED certified have increased from 0.5 percent to 5 percent.
In addition, the study found that LEED-certified space now totals 19.4 percent of the total building stock in the 30 markets reviewed.
The study, known as the Green Building Adoption Index, is the first project completed under CBRE’s Real Green Research Challenge. The RGRC was launched in 2012 and is CBRE’s $1 million commitment to fund leading-edge sustainability research and innovation in commercial real estate.
The study was led by Dr. Nils Kok of Maastricht University in the Netherlands in collaboration with the US Green Building Council and CBRE. Using EPA Energy Star and USGBC LEED statistical data from 2005 to 2013, the study included more than 34,000 buildings in the central business districts of the top 30 US markets, as defined by square footage. According to Kok, the study is the first to quantify the relevance of green building practices in the commercial real estate market.
Canada has seen a similar burst in green building, and a study of green building there shows that Canadian companies are expecting their green practices to increase from one third to one half by 2017.
In addition, there are as many as 150,000 LEED-certified green housing units worldwide, a number that more than doubled between 2011 and 2012 and continues to grow, according to a USGBC report.
Photo credit: Solar panel building via Shutterstock