Commercial buildings with a high Energy Star rating command higher rents and are more attractive to buyers, according to new research.
The study of just under 900 buildings in the US commissioned by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) from researchers at Maastricht University and the University of California, Berkeley found an Energy Star rating attracts a rental premium of 3% per square foot compared with otherwise identical ‘ordinary’ premises.
When rents are adjusted for occupancy levels, the premium is even higher at 6%.
Energy Star rated buildings appear to be even more of a draw for buyers attracting a premium of 16%. This significant improvement means that upgrading the average commercial building could boost its capital value by as much as $5.5 million, say the researchers.
Interestingly, the researchers found that LEED-rated buildings did not appear to attract a premium in this study.
The researchers suggest that the Energy Star label, which focuses on energy usage, is more attractive to buyers or renters than the LEED label, which has a much broader sustainability scope.
RICS hopes the study will provide convincing evidence to persuade developers and landlords to invest in energy efficient construction and refurbishment.
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02 April 2009