Business Case for Green Buildings

Reduced operating costs. A high performance green building is an efficient building. Many green buildings are designed to use 25% to 40% less energy through integrated planning, site orientation, energy-saving technologies, on-site renewable energy-producing technologies, light-reflective materials, natural daylight and ventilation, and downsized HVAC and other equipment.

Improved Employee Productivity . A modest investment in soft features, such as access to pleasant views, increased daylight, fresh air and personal environment controls, can quickly translate into significant bottom-line savings for an employer. Productivity gains for healthier indoor spaces are worth anywhere from 1% to 5% of employee costs.

Risk management and Reduced Liability . Clean and healthy buildings can reduce legal claims and liabilities for the owner. Green building certifications can provide some measure of future lawsuit protection by having a third-party certification of measures installed to protect indoor air quality. Some industry experts are even predicting that insurance companies will start linking lower premiums to high performance buildings.

Environmental stewardship . Having a socially and environmentally motivated mission makes it easier for businesses in the real estate industry to recruit, and retain, top talent. Communities are more likely to support green projects than traditional projects, and it is easier for such projects to quality for many government contracts, subsidies, grants and tax credits.

Increased building value. An asset that maintains its value through higher occupancy and easier maintenance is easier to sell and may command a higher market valuation. There is growing confidence in the industry that a high performance green building can either capture lease premiums or present a more competitive property in an otherwise tough market. Reduced operating costs also generate increased cash flow. For a small upfront investment, an owner can reap benefits that typically offer a payback of three years or less, and an internal rate of return exceeding 20%.

More competitive asset in the marketplace . Green buildings with lower operating costs and better indoor environmental quality should be more attractive to a growing group of corporate, public and individual buyers. Many companies also want to demonstrate their commitment to initiatives that simultaneously benefit the environment, community and bottom line. Green will not replace known attributes such as price, location and conventional amenities, but can help.

Source: U.S Green Building Council