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Riding the Trillion Dollar Green Wave

Posted in Blog on Friday, September 30th, 2011 at 4:09 pm No Comments
Riding the Trillion Dollar Green Wave

Was recently invited to be a part of the panel ‘Riding the Trillion Dollar Green Wave‘ at the Crittenden Real Estate Finance Conference in Miami Beach.  Making the dollars and cents case for Green Building and LEED Certification has been getting easier and easier these days.  To help all those out there pitching green building to project owners, developers and financiers, here are my quick notes/points I developed for the panel.


–          What is LEED, USGBC, the levels of certification and its value?

  • Certified – Silver – Gold – Platinum (I didn’t actually have to write that note down but included it here!)
  • Operational Cost Reduction, Higher Asset Value, 3rd Party Verification, Marketing/PR

–          How much does LEED certification cost?

  • Certified – Silver (Under 3%):  Zero or minimal increase to hard cost, smart decisions and integrated design
  • Gold – Platinum:  Start increasing upfront cost but also start increasing payback, offset with incentives

–          Why focus on buildings?

  • Overall impact of buildings on energy consumption
  • 70% of Electricity, 40% of all Energy

–          Question for audience:  Has anyone worked on or own a LEED/Energy Star building?

–          Where are the savings in buildings located?

  • Focus on technology side, what can you do as a landlord
  • Where is the low-hanging fruit
    • Lighting retrofits (179d) (efficiency, controls)
    • Window film
    • Preparing for PV and EV charging with proper infrastructure
    • Begin tracking electricity and water consumption (Energy Star Portfolio)
    • ‘Can’t manage what you don’t know’
  • Load breakdown within buildings (Office ~ 25% HVAC, 25% Lighting, 25% Plug, etc.)

–          What technology is coming down the pipe for new construction?

  • Demand shifting, ice storage, better glass, on-site wastewater processing
  • Building integrated PV

–          Why people are doing it?

  • Corporate responsibility is driving decisions
  • Attract government tenants (GSA), meet LEED building ordinances
  • Return on investment, Higher asset value
  • Higher rents, faster absorption
  • Competition: Story of Downtown Miami Class A office buildings going LEED

–          Why should I care?

  • Why not?  Do you support dirty drinking water and bad air?
  • REITS are demanding energy performance data on buildings
  • Productivity indecies extracted from LEED Rating System for commercial office buildings (CoStar)
  • Large corporations setting path, CSR, pushing envelope (Google demanding chemical disclosure for materials)


Image Source: Building Green