Canadian Consulting Engineer

Studies of 1,300 buildings demonstrate advantages of going green

April 11, 2008
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

Two recently released studies, one by the New Buildings Institute (NBI) and one by CoStar Group, have shown that th...

Two recently released studies, one by the New Buildings Institute (NBI) and one by CoStar Group, have shown that third party certified buildings outperform their conventional counterparts across a variety of metrics, including energy savings, occupancy rates, sale price and rental rates.
In the NBI study, the results indicate that new buildings certified under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification system are, on average, performing 25-30% better than non-LEED certified buildings in terms of energy use. The study also showed that Gold and Platinum LEED certified buildings have average energy savings approaching 50%.
Energy savings under EPA’s Energy Star program were also impressive. Buildings that have earned the Energy Star label use an average of almost 40 per cent less energy than average buildings, and emit 35 percent less carbon.
The results from both studies also strengthened the “business case” for green buildings.
According to the CoStar study, LEED buildings command rent premiums of $11.24 per square foot over their non-LEED peers and have 3.8 percent higher occupancy.
Rental rates in Energy Star buildings represent a $2.38 per sq. ft. premium over comparable buildings and have 3.6 percent higher occupancy.
Also, Energy Star buildings are selling for an average of $61 per square foot more than their peers, while LEED buildings command $171 more per square foot.
The group analyzed more than 1,300 LEED Certified and Energy Star buildings representing about 351 million square feet in CoStar’s commercial property database of roughly 44 billion square feet, and assessed those buildings against non-green properties with similar size, location, class, tenancy and year-built characteristics to generate the results.
The NBI study was funded by USGBC with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and can be accessed at:
For more information on the CoStar study:


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