Report: Green communities’ initiatives aid development
Green communities make good markets for green office buildings, according to a new report from the Portland, Ore.-based Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s (NEEA) BetterBricks initiative and New York-based real estate company Cushman & Wakefield. The “2011 Green Building Opportunity Index,” released on June 22, ranks the 30 largest Central Business Districts (CBDs) in the country according to the opportunities they present for green office buildings, and finds that cities with green building initiatives ranked highest on the list.
The index’s top 10 CBDs overall are San Francisco; Midtown, N.Y.; Washington; Midtown South, N.Y.; Los Angeles; Boston; Downtown N.Y.; Portland; Seattle; and Oakland, Calif. “Green and sustainable building initiatives play a large role in solidifying a CBD’s rank in the Green Building Index,” said Peter Wilcox, senior manager for the Commercial Sector in NEEA’s BetterBricks. “Seattle’s adoption of the Energy Disclosure Ordinance and Portland’s stimulus-funded existing building renewal of the Edith Green/Wendell Wyatt Federal Building are two examples that demonstrate how changes to either the regulatory scheme or market fundamentals can dramatically change the market viability of green building adoption.”
The Green Building Opportunity Index, begun in 2010, provides weighted comparisons of top U.S. office markets on the basis of both real estate fundamentals and green development considerations. The index focuses on the primary factors that influence successful development, retrofitting, leasing and sales of investment-grade green office buildings. It ranks the markets in six categories: Office Market Conditions, Investment Outlook, Green Adoption & Implementation, Local Mandates & Incentives, State Energy Initiatives and Green Culture. For 2011, five new markets were added to the index, and the methodology and data inputs were refined.
The index is meant as a tool for city policy makers, utility staff and planners to help them better understand what new policies and incentives might be useful to accelerate green building activity. It is also a tool for investment/pension fund managers to guide their investments, as well as for building owners, architects and green building consultants.
Download and read more about the index.