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CBRE: Houston Ranks Fourth in Green Buildings

HOUSTON – Houston ranks fourth in the nation, behind San Francisco, Chicago and Minneapolis, in the new third annual Green Building Adoption Index study by CBRE and Maastricht University.

In the study, green office buildings are defined as those that hold either EPA Energy Star labels or LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Houston rose from fifth place on the previous year’s list, and its overall total of “green” certified space grew to 60 percent of Houston office space, significantly higher than the prior year’s 53 percent.

Houston, which led the nation in office building construction with 17 million SF underway in 2014, has a large supply of new space. The new buildings are more likely to be Green, which has emerged as nearly a necessity in recent years.

“Building new, LEED certified buildings has become a market standard for Houston, especially as companies attract a younger workforce and use their offices as a way to recruit and retain talent,” said Steve Rocher, Executive Vice President, CBRE said.

In Houston, Energy Center Three, Four and Five, as well as Noble Energy Center 2, are examples of LEED Gold certified buildings that are being spearheaded by Trammell Crow Company and CBRE. These buildings feature energy efficient elements such as Energy Recovery Units (ERU) that pre-cool and dehumidify warm weather air to reduce stress on HVAC systems and low-flow fixtures that promote responsible water use.

The City of Houston’s Green Office Challenge is designed to help buildings reduce energy, water, and waste through a friendly competition among Houston businesses.  The Challenge, which focuses on all property types, has set expectations for more energy efficient and green-conscious space.

“While the rate of growth in ‘green’ buildings has slowed modestly, our latest study underscores that in most major markets, sustainable office space has become the ‘new normal,’” said David Pogue, CBRE’s Global Director of Corporate Responsibility.

The overall results of the study do show that the while the uptake of green building practices in the 30 largest U.S. cities continues to be significant, the rate of adoption is slowing. In 2014 the total sq. ft. of green office space in the top 30 markets was 39.3 percent compared to the latest rate of 40.2 percent.

“This likely reflects the fact that only a certain fraction of the building stock can obtain a green or energy-efficiency certification,” said Dr. Nils Kok, associate professor in Finance and Real Estate, Maastricht University of The Netherlands. “Additionally, we believe that some buildings that were previously certified did not renew their certification in 2015. This does not necessarily mean that the energy use of these buildings has changed, but that some owners and managers may choose not to spend the time or expense to reapply for certification every year.”

Executed in close collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and CBRE Research, this is the third release of the annual Green Building Adoption Index. Based on a rigorous methodology, the Index shows the growth of ENERGY STAR- and LEED-certified space for the 30 largest U.S. office markets, both in aggregate and in individual markets, over the previous 10 years.

Oct. 25, 2016 Realty News Report Copyright 2016

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