Searching for the Holy Grail of Green Real Estate

Lost in the debate over the value created by going green is what some have dubbed the “Holy Grail” of sustainable real estate.
Much of the analysis on greening real estate assets focuses on relatively easy-to-quantify metrics, such as the OPEX (operating expense) improvements to NOI by cutting water and energy use versus the CAPEX (capital expenditures) and who ultimately benefits from those investments. But that debate focuses on a small piece of the 5 percent to 7 percent of business OPEX tied up in real estate and ignores the largest expense of operating a business: the workforce. To some, the Holy Grail of sustainable real estate is discovering the true net-zero commercial building, but to me it is uncovering absolute proof of the productivity gains for those blessed to work in a green building. Read More…

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Did the Greenest Type of Development Just Become an Endangered Species?

You’ve sourced locally, used recycled materials extensively and incorporated the most advanced building operating systems available with an eye on earning a Platinum certification from US Green Building Council and premium pricing from tenants and investors for your latest development project.

You may think your new building is as green as economically and physically possible but it could have been much greener.

Last month, Preservation Green Lab, a Seattle-based think tank, released a study that concluded that “building reuse almost always offers environmental savings over demolition and new construction.”

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Five Myths of Green Real Estate

The end of the holidays also brings an end to the many holiday related countdowns – The number of shopping days after Thanksgiving; The 12 days of Christmas; The eight nights of Hanukkah – you get the picture. Now that the clock in Times Square ticking off the final seconds of 2011 has hit zero and the partying, shopping and celebrating is done, I’m adding one more to the list: Five myths of green real estate.

After spending the past year working in the real estate sustainability field, I’ve come to see the same misperceptions and misunderstandings repeated over and over again in the discussions and decision-making process surrounding going green. As 2012 gets underway in earnest, now is a good time to point out the most pervasive green myths circulating in the marketplace to give you a little context for your real estate business decisions in the coming year. Read More…

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