Green Commercial Building Study
A 10-year study conducted from 2004 to 2013, at the University of Guelph in Ontario and published in the Journal of Portfolio Management, reveals that green office buildings have more satisfied tenants and higher occupancy and lease renewal rates. Ten years of data from one of North America’s largest commercial real estate firms, collected during a time that the North American housing markets went through boom, bust and recovery periods was analyzed for this study. The researchers examined several variables including lease renewals, energy and water consumption, monthly rents and tenant satisfaction. To qualify as a “green building” for the study, buildings had to meet certain sustainability and efficiency standards based on voluntary labeling programs such as LEED, BOMA BEST and ENERGY STAR certification programs. The results show that buildings certified through these voluntary programs generally have a higher potential for lease renewal, offer lower incentives, and have substantially higher tenant satisfaction levels. The study also shows that in U.S. green buildings, energy consumption per sq. ft. was 14 percent lower than non-green buildings. According to the study, although average rent prices were 3.7 percent higher for green buildings, occupancy rates were 9.5 percent higher than non-green buildings in the United States and 18.7 percent higher in Canada.