Houston Named Nations Sixth Greenest City in CBRE Study
Houston Named Nation's Sixth Greenest City in CBRE Study
| August 28, 2018
Houston ranks sixth in the annual U.S. Green Building Adoption Index by CBRE and Maastricht University. The metropolitan area dropped out of the top five this year, mainly as a result of Los Angeles’ improved performance and not due to a decline in green building certifications in Houston. The market still had 10.5 percent of all buildings LEED certified, the second highest in the survey behind only Manhattan, and placed third overall in the percentage of LEED certified square footage.
“Some may be surprised Houston made the top 10, but our city has posted very consistent scores over the years. CBRE is proud to manage over nine million square-feet of LEED certified property, including two platinum certified buildings, 3009 Post Oak and Hess Tower,” said Lori Bryant, CBRE Managing Director, Asset Services. “The bar to make the top five in this study gets raised each year and that’s good for the commercial real estate industry as a whole.”
CBRE MANAGED BUILDINGS
TOTAL SQ. FT.
3009 Post Oak
Wells Fargo Plaza
Plaza at Enclave
Dow A.P. Beutel Building
Dow Diamond Center
Dow R&D I
Dow R&D II
Noble Energy Center One
Noble Energy Center Tower
Energy Center 5
8 West Center
The CBRE study found green certified office space across America’s 30 largest metros has reached 41 percent of market totals – the highest in the index’s history. “Green” office buildings in the U.S. are defined as those that hold either an EPA ENERGY STAR® label, USGBC LEED certification or both. According to the report, 11.5 percent of all buildings surveyed are ENERGY STAR labeled, while 5.2 percent of buildings are LEED certified, both at all-time highs in the five-year study.
Chicago again claimed the top spot with nearly 70 percent of its space green certified. In addition to defending its title as the nation’s greenest city, Chicago saw a difference of nearly six percent with second-place San Francisco, the largest spread ever recorded in the Green Building Adoption Index. Atlanta maintained the third spot with more than 58 percent of all space green certified, while a surging Los Angeles claimed fourth – up from sixth last year. Minneapolis rounds out the top five with 55 percent of office space certified.
TOTAL # OF BUILDINGS
TOTAL SQ. FT.
TOTAL # GREEN BUILDINGS
% OF MARKET CERTIFIED GREEN
Continued improvement in average energy efficiency for the nation’s commercial buildings also prompted the EPA to change the underlying calculations for ENERGY STAR scoring this year. This change is expected to lower average scores for office buildings by as much as 10 points next year. These changes may have a significant impact on next year’s Green Building Adoption Index rankings, particularly for markets whose ENERGY STAR certifications comprise the bulk of their green space.
“Green building certifications have become an important proxy for sustainable practices, recognized by all stakeholders. Any significant change to one of these major certification programs can have a significant impact on the buildings affected. We will be closely watching for the results,” said David Pogue, CBRE’s Senior Vice President, Global Client Care.
Green Buildings Certification Influencing Capital Markets
CBRE and Maastricht University researchers note that building certification has become a more recognized and important part of a building’s profile. As these programs reach maturity, the capital markets are increasingly incorporating these certificates into loan pricing and alternative financial instruments such as green bonds. And, according to additional research by Green Building Adoption Index co-author Rogier Holtermans, buildings certified by ENERGY STAR and/or LEED have been shown to transact for about 10.1 percent more than non-green certified buildings.
“While conventional lenders offer limited incentive for LEED certified properties, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a means of financing energy efficiency upgrades or renewable energy installations for residential, commercial and industrial property owners that is increasingly gaining popularity,” said Jeff Stein, CBRE Senior Vice President.
This is the fifth release of the annual U.S. Green Building Adoption Index. Based on a rigorous methodology, the index shows the growth of ENERGY STAR and LEED-certified space for the 30 largest U.S. office markets, both in aggregate and in individual markets, over the previous 10 years. A feature again this year is a geographic mapping platform that highlights the name, location and details of the specific green certification for each building in all 30 markets. View the study’s findings HERE.