Chappell, the managing director and nationalpractice leader o National Green Building & Sus-tainability Practice Valuation Services or the CapitalMarkets Group o Cushman & Wakeield o Washing-ton, Inc.: “There is no doubt the market is lookingmore closely at issues such as energy eiciency anda building’s carbon ootprint in making investmentdecisions. Buildings that do not measure up in thesetwo areas alone are losing avor among investorsand in many instances are being considered lessattractive investments long term. Even though datamay not currently exist to prove up a value premiumor sustainable properties, there is a growing belie in the valuation community that i a building is notenergy eicient and high perorming, there is amuch greater likelihood its value will be discountedin the coming years.”Overall, building a new building or upgrading anexisting building to LEED standards oers a remarkablereturn on investment (ROI). Cost-beneit analysis on 10buildings recently awarded LEED certiication showsan average ROI o 29 percent or green investments.How’s that or the bottom line?
The Other Side of the Equation
One o the costliest aspects o a building is the healtho the people inside. A study conducted in 2000 bythe Harvard School o Public Health and the PolaroidCorporation ound that employee absences cost com-panies billions o dollars annually. In a study by Wil-liam Fisk, green buildings were ound to add between$20 billion and $160 billion in increased workerproductivity every year. According to many acilitymanagers overseeing LEED-certiied buildings, thesebuildings yield signiicant productivity and healthbeneits, including heightened employee productivityand satisaction, ewer sick days and less turnover.Case studies urther demonstrate that employeeswho work inside the buildings are more productiveand report greater satisaction with their workplaces,speciically identiying sunlight, views o nature andheightened thermal and acoustic comort.
The most eective way to reduce higher costs is bygetting an experienced project team in place and prac-ticing the principles o integrated design. Integrateddesign engages users and operators during the designprocess so projects are able to integrate better designand understanding o building eatures and unctions.To stay on track, according to Davis Langdon’s study:
• Begin documentation early and maintain it as you go.• Update and monitor the LEED checklist regularly so you
have a clear picture o your progress.
• Use energy- and cost-modeling tools to drive decisions
at the design phase, not to validate decisions at theconstruction phase.The best response to the question, “How can you aordLEED certifcation?” may well be, “You can’t aord not to!”
LEED has been a successul tool not only or greeningnew buildings but or improving the eiciency andhealthiness o existing buildings. The commercial
Oxford - Metro Centre Photo by Shai Gil, courtesy of HOK