Corporate responsibility is driving LEED EB Market

More REITS are getting in the act of repositioning the very office space they actually office out of, but they are also repositioning the buildings in their major markets in order to get corporate LEED EB leases. Wells REIT is obviously repositioning a chunk of their portfolio not just for themselves but because that is what the market is demanding. This is a trend we are seeing across all major markets. Commercial property owners can't move fast enough to renovate their buildings for the ever demanding energy efficiency market.

Corporations that need to market themselves (like Novartis) for one reason or the other as energy efficient conscience or "going green" are looking for leases in LEED certified buildings. They must do this because consumers are watching ever move corporations make. It all goes back to their marketing communications to the public, their investors and the government. Because of these new corporate responsibilities the CRE market is scrambling to reposition their portfolios.

After all, how would it look for a large consumer brand corporation like GEICO to be saying they are energy efficient focused and care about the environment in their TV ads but then Dateline NBC finds out that their 45,000 sqft headquarters is in a energy hog building?

The pressure to become energy efficient and environmentally responsible is coming from all directions. The financial roadblocks of doing so will become more and more profound over the next few years. Banks aren't lending like they used to, and probably won't ever again.


How to Underwrite Sustainable Properties

If you have not downloaded this free online book by Scott Muldavin "Value Beyond Cost Savings - How to Underwrite Sustainable Properties" then do it today and enjoy an in-depth analysis by Scott.

The book is part of the efforts of the Green Building Finance Consortium.

The Green Building Finance Consortium was formed to help fill the void of information, methods, and practices for the valuation and underwriting of sustainable properties.


Are "Green" Universities becoming standard?

According to the newly released white paper "Green Building Trends in Higher Education" by Yudelson Associates, there are more than 3,000 LEED-registered projects across the country on College campuses. This accounts for about 15% of the entire LEED market.

In addition to this new white paper, the Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI) has released it's 2010 College Sustainability Report Card, the first website of its kind to start ranking colleges by their energy efficiency and green movements on campus.

With the release of these two new reports it is easy to assume that going green on college campuses is no longer just a trend but it is becoming standard. And even more so, colleges are being racked and stacked against each other on sustainability measures across the board.

The big questions are:
1. How are all of these projects being funded?
2. Are they being funded by the savings created?
3. Are private Universities using their endowments to finance the projects? How?
4. Is there a blend of financing being used with the traditional ESCO model?
5. Who is making the payback and performance guarantees?
6. Who tracks and validates the guarantees?
7. What institute benefits from the funding?

The green university standard is here, but what is the best standard to follow when it comes to funding the projects?

Another interesting sustainability tracking system was created by AASHE, called STARS.