There are many reasons why sustainable development is trending in Commercial Real Estate (CRE). Sustainability, “going green,” LEED-certified, and many other buzzwords are catching fire in the world of CRE.
The idea here is to explain how and why so many companies are going green with their office and warehouse spaces.
More businesses are going green than ever
There are many business owners that want to make sure their business works to lessen their impact on the environment. Some business owners push for sustainable development so they can protect their investment and increase their ROI. There are also business owners that want to use going green as PR.
Plenty of business owners have good intentions, but how many are going to invest heavily in “going green?”
How many companies really can implement changes that make a positive impact?
The answer here is changing all the time due to the way the industry is growing. New innovations, products, and building techniques are coming out all the time.
The more people spend and demand green building supplies the more options will hit the market.
How did this green building movement start?
In 1987, a report by the name of “Our Common Future,” defined Sustainable Development as “development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Most people are referring to environmental objectives when they’re speaking about sustainability. However, it can also encompass social, cultural and economic effects.
There are more choices than ever when it comes to building. As a business owner, you have the opportunity to make big choices that impact your business and the environment around you. The location you choose, the materials you build with, equipment that you use, and more affect the sustainability of your office or warehouse space.
Should we go green?
I really like this video “Green buildings are more than brick and mortar” of Bryn Davidson doing a TEDxRenfrewCollingwood talk on the subject.
Brynn does a great job of explaining why we all should be going green. He also shares some great insight on how we can make a positive impact.
Are you looking to LEED?
LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED is also the most common measurement of sustainability in CRE. Getting a LEED certification for your business space means you met the US Green Building Council (USGBC) standards.
USGBC made the LEED certification as a voluntary program because they want to encourage green building. The USGBC uses third-party verification companies so it can maintain the integrity of the LEED certification. These companies use a point system on the various components of a structure, so each component gets points for its sustainable efforts.
There are different LEED systems for new construction, existing buildings, healthcare facilities, retail shops, and more.
5 LEED categories include:
- Sustainable site- encourage minimizing the impact on ecosystems and water resources.
- Water efficiency- to promote smarter use of water.
- Energy and atmosphere- to encourage better building energy performance.
- Materials and resources- to promote the use of sustainable or recycled building materials.
- Indoor environmental quality- encouraging better indoor air quality and access to daylight.
The points add up because the USGBC provides four LEED certification levels.
The four LEED certification levels are:
- Certified (40-49 points)
- Silver (50-59 points)
- Gold (60-79 points)
- Platinum (80+ points)
The scores go up as you do better at showing energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, and improved indoor environmental quality. Showing good stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts will also impact your score.
Check out the USGBC and learn about “Going Green”
Visit www.usgbc.org to get more info and tips on how to begin sustainable development. There are so many ways to start going green including upgrading your HVAC, lighting, and plumbing systems that it makes sense to begin planning.
A little research may pay big dividends for your business because investing in sustainability often results in long-term savings. You and your company will also feel good about doing your part to make the world a better place.
Why sustainable development matters
The concept of sustainable development is one that causes debate for many reasons. Some people really believe in it and some are also having difficulties buying into it. The debate makes sense due to the amount of money at play.
There are also many other factors beyond the budget to consider including the real environmental, social, and economic needs we have as a society. The days of being able to ignore these needs to focus on the bottom line are coming to end. The fact that new technology and innovations also offer long-term savings even makes the bean counters take another look now.
Green building and sustainability have been growing trends in commercial real estate for several decades now. Therefore, it makes sense to think about sustainable development whenever you have to build out an office or warehouse space.
There have plenty of signs that going green can have a positive impact on revenues while also reducing operating costs. Going green can also positively impact property values.
CRE developers lead the way
Real estate investors are making a huge statement about the environment with their pocketbooks. They’re truly leading the way when it comes to making the world eco-friendlier.
Architects and engineers are also coming up with new innovations all the time. The people doing the planning and paying are making a difference. The cost of going green will also go down as more corporations and CRE developers increase the demand.
People are already working to provide the best possible solutions at the best prices so they can capture part of the market share early.
There are so many benefits to the environment and the people using green buildings that it makes sense to think long-term.