San Francisco has the most green office buildings in the US, with 73.7 percent of its office space holding either an EPA Energy Star label, US Green Building Council LEED certification, or both.
After placing second on the Green Building Adoption Index study by CBRE Group and Maastricht University for the past two years, the San Francisco market claimed the top stop, with Chicago in second at 72.3 percent.
Minneapolis fell from the top into third spot at 60.6 percent. Houston, Atlanta and Los Angeles all also achieved more than 50 percent green certification in their office markets.
The annual report found that institutional owners of office buildings continued to pursue green building certifications in the 30 largest US markets during 2015, but adoption is slowing.
Continuing an upward trend over the past decade, green certifications are now held by 11.8 percent of all surveyed buildings, representing 40.2 percent of all office space. Both figures are slightly above last year’s results. In 2014 the total square footage of green office space in the top 30 markets was 39.3 percent.
Despite a slight slow down in growth, the latest study shows that in major markets green office space is “the new normal,” said David Pogue, CBRE’s global director of corporate responsibility.
Dr. Nils Kok, associate professor in finance and real estate at Maastricht University, attributed the slowing growth to the fact that only a certain fraction of buildings can obtain green certification and some that were previously certified did not renew in 2015. “This does not necessarily mean that the energy use of these buildings has changed, but that some owners and managers may choose not to spend the time or expense to reapply for certification every year,” he said in a statement.
Studies have repeatedly shown green building certifications lead to lower operating costs, such as reduced utility bills and lower total lifecycle costs.
Another recent report found building owners report seeing a median increase of 7 percent in the value of their green buildings compared to traditional buildings.
To show building owners the financial, environmental and social return on investment in green building features, Impact Infrastructure has launched a beta version of its Autocase for Sustainable Buildings software. The tool analyses and calculates savings in real time.
The software launch coincides with a Green Business Certification Inc. announcement that it will launch a new green building platform later this year. The platform, called arc, will allow any building, LEED certified or otherwise, to measure performance, make improvements and benchmark against itself.