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Green Building & Sustainable Development

Green Buildings are Good for Business

A new Canadian study of green buildings reveals a clear link between the market value of real estate and its environmental friendliness.

The study, Green Value, co-sponsored by the Real Property Association of Canada (RealPac) in conjunction with nine government and private sector organisations in Canada and the United Kingdom, finds that green buildings can:
  • Earn higher rents and prices ;
  • Attract tenants and buyers more quickly;
  • Cut tenant turnover;
  • Cost less to operate and maintain; and
  • Benefit occupiers.
The report highlights how green buildings could make money if there was greater recognition of the extra staff productivity that green features or strategies bring. But it also recognises that there needs to be more green buildings if their true value and potential are to be maximised.

Michael Brooks, Executive Director of the Real Property Association of Canada (RealPac), commented "we will see increased tenant demand for green buildings in Canada, both as a result of Kyoto compliance concerns, and as pedigree that buildings will increasingly need to have". Canadian governments are seen as a key early mover into green buildings, and Fortune 500 type companies are also likely to be early adopters.

The case studies involved a qualitative assessment of the impact on the value of green buildings in Canada, the USA, and the UK, and were selected to provide a range of locations, building types and uses. Interviews were conducted with building developers, owners and occupants focussing on value benefits of their green buildings compared with comparable conventional buildings and translating the benefits in terms of valuation. Green buildings can:
  • Attract grants, subsidies and other inducements to do with environmental stewardship, increasing energy efficiency and lessening greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Improve business productivi ty for occupants, affecting churn, renewals, inducements and fitting out costs amongst others; and
  • Benefit occupants more than the underlying asset cost or value; resulting from business productivity benefits.
The Green Value Executive Summary, Report, and Case Studies are available as free downloads from the RealPac website at

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