Marketing and Comms
Major Gap in Sustainability Adoption Between Large, Small Office Buildings

More than 60 percent of large buildings qualify as “green,” compared to less than 5 percent of small buildings, according to a new study by CBRE Group and Maastricht University.

The 2015 Green Building Adoption Index, a joint project of CBRE and Maastricht, concludes this may afford owners of small buildings an opportunity to differentiate themselves by implementing energy-efficient practices.

The report defines “green” as an office building holding either an EPA ENERGY STAR label, U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) full-building LEED certification or both. in the study, “large” buildings are those greater than 500,000 square feet, while “small” buildings are less than 100,000 square feet.

Minneapolis led the city ranking for the second consecutive year, just over 70 percent of all office space currently qualified as green, down from 77 percent in 2014. San Francisco, again in second place, significantly closed the gap and now boasts a 70 percent green building market, up from 67 percent in 2014. Chicago came in third at 63 percent, while Atlanta 58 percent and Houston 52 percent were fourth and fifth. The top 10 cities on the 2014 list all retained a place on the 2015 list.

The overall results of the study show that the uptake of green building practices in the 30 largest U.S. cities continue to be significant, but that the growth is slowing. At the end of the fourth quarter of 2014, 13 percent of the commercial building stock had an ENERGY STAR label, LEED certification, or both, compared to just under 14 percent at the end of 2013. Measured by size, the amount of certified commercial space also decreased from 39.3 percent in 2013 to 38.7 percent at the end of 2014.

In January, technology company Impact Infrastructure unveiled AutoCASE, a new cloud-based tool that enables triple-bottom line business case analysis to become an integrated part of a Building Information Modeling (BIM) project design workflow. The analysis tool goes beyond exploring only the engineering aspects of a design to embrace an accounting framework with three parts: social, environmental and financial. This makes triple bottom line business case analysis more affordable, easier to produce and more accessible to infrastructure professionals around the world.

A report by BCC Research released late last year claimed that the global market for zero net energy (ZNE) commercial buildings is expected to grow to $239.7 million by 2018, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 50.6 percent. This suggests growth is being driven by a global green building boom, ongoing governmental regulations and regional environmental concerns.


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