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RICS Releases Sustainability Report on the Financial Performance of Green Office Buildings in the USA

NEW YORK Feb. 23, 2011 USA .

Nils Kok John Quigley University of California, Berkeley February 22 New York University

Ursula Hartenberger

the Netherlands Berkeley, California

The research which represents a follow-up to a study carried out by the same research team before the onset of the financial crisis, confirms the findings of that earlier study, namely that even in difficult economic times so-called "green" office buildings can offer economic benefits to investors, including higher rents and lower risk premiums.  While the report’s findings are based on U.S. data, the results are important on an international basis as they expand on the very limited body of existing work on the topic and provide vital tangible evidence that "buildings with green ratings in 2009 commanded rental rates that were substantially higher than those of otherwise identical office buildings, while explicitly controlling for the quality and the specific location of the buildings."

The study found that green office buildings in the U.S. performed better during the economic downturn of 2008 and 2009 than their comparable non-green high quality property investments.  The findings, which are based on North American data for buildings certified by the EOA’s Energy Star Program, illustrate that rents and occupancy rates for green office buildings were higher during the 2007 to 2009 period than for properties that have not had energy-efficiency measures incorporated into their structures.

As the report emphasizes, real property continues to play an increasingly important role in matters of environmental conservation.  Small increases in the sustainability of buildings, or more specifically in the energy-efficiency of their operation, can have large effects on their current use of energy and on their life-cycle energy consumption.

About the Authors

Piet Eichholtz

Maastricht University the Netherlands Cyprus the Netherlands

Nils Kok

Nils Kok Maastricht University the Netherlands European Business School American Economic Review," " Real Estate Economics" and the " Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics."

John Quigley

John Quigley University of California, Berkeley Berkeley Berkeley

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For more information contact:


Neil Shah

RICS, Regional Director, North America

60 East 42nd Street

New York, NY 10165

T: 212.847.7400

F: 212.847.7401

E: [email protected]

Abigail La Croix

RICS, Communications Manager, North America

60 East 42nd Street

New York, NY 10165

T: 212.847.7400

F: 212.847.7401

E: [email protected]


Ursula Hartenberger

RICS Global Head of Sustainability

Rue Ducale/Hertogstraat 67 

1000 Brussels


T (direct) +32 2 739 42 21 

M +32 470 99 05 06 

+32 2 742 97 48

E   [email protected]



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