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Why sustainable buildings out perform non-green builds

Posted by Greg Chew on Dec 2, 2015 10:03:26 AM


Recent research published in the September issue of the Journal of Portfolio Management, has revealed that green or sustainable buildings across North America are experiencing higher rent, occupancy levels, lease renewal and overall tenant satisfaction scores.  

Results from the survey also reveal that those buildings holding sustainable certification continuously outperformed non-green buildings.

Green decision making has become big business in Canada, research suggests that by 2017 over 60% of all new construction projects will be green.

The business of developing sustainable buildings

One of the most notable statistics from the report, is the effect that Canadians green buildings have on occupancy rates. Green buildings have a 18.7% higher rate of occupancy than non-green builds. This also flows into tenant renewal rates, which are 5.6% higher with Canadian green buildings. Tenant satisfaction scores rates 7% higher and energy consumption rated 14% lower.

These numbers make a strong case for the business of developing and owning a sustainable building. On the other side of these statistics, is the reduction in operating costs that a green building affords, this includes, lower energy, water and maintenance costs.

It should be noted that the Ontario Building Code requirements are extremely similar to the requirements to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The cost difference between developing a fully certified LEED building and one constructed to the OBC requirements is within $10 per sq. ft.

Notable sustainable buildings in Niagara

The green trend has been slower moving into the Niagara region with only three buildings awarded with gold certified status. That said, a number of new buildings in recent year have been built to achieve LEED certification.

The Canada Green Building Council's tracks green buildings across Toronto and the Niagara Horseshoe by certification. To access the map and a list of green buildings within the area click here

Balls Falls Conservation Centre - LEED Canada NC Gold Certified
Niagara Health System - LEED Canada Certified
Brock University International Centre - LEED Canada Silver Certified
Canadian Tire Welland - LEED Canada Silver Certified

Green buildings in Niagara are mostly reserved to wineries and institutional structure. But with statistics clearly pointing to the benefits green-building certification brings to Canadian office buildings, will Niagara builders begin to absorb the sustainability trend?

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Topics: Commercial development, Niagara, Commercial office market

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