ULI Chicago News

Tenants Want Increased Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings

On September 27, ULI Chicago convened it’s third members-only Policy Forum, an initiative designed to bring local membership together around emerging land use and development issues to foster more indepth conversations in a smaller, more intimate gathering.

With local insight provided by Aaron Joseph, Deputy Sustainability Officer, City of Chicago; an update on the national pulse from Dan Probst, Chairman of Energy and Sustainability Services, Jones Lang LaSalle; and real-time impact analysis from Charlotte Matthews, Vice President of Sustainability, Related Companies, this Forum focused on government programs and policies designed to increase energy efficiency in commercial buildings and the impact on real estate values.

In the absence of federal legislation, state and local government as well as representatives from the development industry are either developing, responding to, or anticipating regulation on commercial property energy disclosure. Even without the regulatory impetus, the real estate industry is surrounded by the concept of the triple-bottom-line and the importance of energy efficiency.

As the existing data and programs were discussed, three main themes emerged:

  • Building-to-building comparisons on the impact to value of energy retrofits are extremely difficult to capture: the ROI fluctuates by the building type, the number and type of tenants and uses of the building, and the scope of the intervention.
  • Demand for green / efficient buildings continue to grow: uncaptured by conventional appraisals, tenants are willing to (or required to, in the case of some public buildings) incorporate efficiency into their leasing decisions.
  • Public-private partnership in developing and executing policy is critical.

ULI Chicago hopes to continue the discussion and offer additional resources to the industry to address the long-term issue of climate change.  For more information, contact Cindy McSherry, ULI Chicago.

Read about the ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance
Access resources at Greenprint Foundation to reduce energy usage and carbon emissions in commercial buildings
Learn more about ULI’s Climate, Land Use and Energy (CLUE) Initiative

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