Owners of small buildings have an opportunity to differentiate themselves by implementing green-building practices, due to a significant gap between large and small office buildings in achieving sustainability certification, according to a study by CBRE Group and Maastricht University.
The 2015 Green Building Adoption Index, a joint project of CBRE and Maastricht, found that 62.1 percent of office buildings in the US greater than 500,000 square feet are considered “green” (holding either an EPA Energy Star label, US Green Building Council full-building LEED certification or both). In contrast, only 4.5 percent of all US office buildings less than 100,000 square feet qualified as green.
Minneapolis led the city ranking for the second consecutive year, with 70.4 percent of all office space currently qualified as green, down from 77.0 percent in 2014. San Francisco, again in second place, significantly closed the gap and now boasts a 70.0 percent green market, up from 67.2 percent in 2014. Chicago, at 63.4 percent, was third, while Atlanta (57.8 percent) and Houston (52.9 percent) swapped positions at fourth and fifth. The top 10 cities on the 2014 list all retained a place on the 2015 list.
The overall results of the study show that the uptake of green building practices in the 30 largest US cities continues to be significant, but that the growth is slowing. At the end of the fourth quarter of 2014, 13.1 percent of the commercial building stock had an Energy Star label, LEED certification, or both, compared to 13.8 percent at the end of 2013. Measured by size, the amount of certified commercial space also decreased from 39.3 percent in 2013 to 38.7 percent at the end of 2014.