Posts Tagged ‘green-building’

Landmark Study Finds Increased Productivity, Lower Vacancy and Higher Rents in Green Buildings

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Study concludes that green buildings are healthier for employees.  A new study conducted by the University of San Diego and CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. (CBRE) has found that tenants in green buildings experience fewer sick days and have increased productivity.  Furthermore, researchers determined that green buildings have higher rental rates and lower vacancies.

Overseen by Dr. Norm Miller of the University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, the “Do Green Buildings Make Dollars and Sense?” study took a year to complete and is the largest study of its kind to date.  The research was conducted in collaboration with Dave Pogue, CBRE’s national director of sustainability, and Ray Wong, CBRE’s director of Americas research.

The study determined that tenants in green buildings are more productive based on two measures — the average number of tenant sick days and the self-reported productivity change.  Study respondents reported an average of 2.88 fewer sick days in their current green office compared to their previous non-green office.  The research additionally showed that green buildings have 13 percent higher rental rates and 3.5 percent lower vacancy rates than the market.

Pogue comments, “The results of this project are beginning to demonstrate the very real and positive impact of sustainable buildings for both our owners and tenant occupants.  We have been seeking ways to make an empirical case for the economic benefits of sustainable practices and the results of this study exceeded our expectations.”  For its findings, CBRE and the University of San Diego surveyed more than 150 buildings under CBRE management.  Researchers defined a green building as those with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification at any level or those that bear the EPA ENERGY STAR label.

Chicago Pours a Tall One to Secure MillerCoors Deal

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

To sweeten the pot after luring brewing giant MillerCoors LLC to the Windy City, the City of Chicagocoors-light-logo11 has agreed to create a $6 million tax-increment financing deal for the firm’s new corporate headquarters at 250 South Wacker Drive.  Even with a budget shortfall nudging $500 million, the City is kicking in significant funds to bring home more than 300 new jobs.  This deal is also heartening affirmation that the frozen capital markets are starting to flow once again.

The City’s subsidy, approved by the Community Development Commission, provides 27.5 percent of the $21.8 million that MillerCoors needs to renovate its 129,122 SF headquarters on nine floors of the 14-story building.  During 2006, 250 South Wacker Drive was renovated to replace or update all infrastructure systems.  The structure now boasts an energy-efficient “Chill Beam” HVAC system and low-e glass, and qualifies as a next-generation green building.

Last July, MillerCoors – a joint venture of Molson Coors Brewing Co. and SABMiller PLC – chose Chicago as the headquarters of its merged operations that previously had headquarters in Milwaukee and Denver.  The agreement requires MillerCoors to employ at least 325 employees at its headquarters within five years.

Make Green Buildings Grow

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Buildings four stories and higher use 65 percent of electricity generated in the United States, according to a recent article on the website

Several states – notably California – are requiring all new government buildings to qualify for green certification.  Additionally, California is looking at the possibility of granting preferences to private building owners that are environmentally friendly when renewing leases with government agencies.

“All the people in the L.A. region want to come to my place to work,” said Peter Cho, chief engineer of the futuristic California Department of Transportation regional headquarters in downtown Los Angeles.  The 13-story green building, which occupies an entire city block, is attracting people with its sleek horizontal architecture, abundant natural lighting and healthier indoor air.

The building incorporates one monolithic solar-panel wall, which makes it 35 percent more energy-efficient than California state building codes require.  Another environmentally friendly element is the elevators that are programmed to skip two floors at a time to encourage building occupants to use the stairs.

Not unexpectedly, getting companies to build green is not easy.  According to the United States Green Building Council’s Lance Williams, “There is resistance to anything new, especially if it requires people to invest in something new or to believe in something new.  But there are people being converted…every single day.”

For their part, commercial building owners believe it is more effective to have direct financial incentives for going green.  Government’s green-building programs help in this way, and the Building Owners and Managers Association International is lobbying Congress to extend tax incentives to retrofit buildings to conserve energy.