The Executive Summary of CBRE’s 2014 National Green Building Adoption Index begins with:
It is now common knowledge that commercial real estate is at the nexus of many environmental and sustainability issues. Specific awareness of the importance of building level energy efficiency programs is widespread and further importance is placed on the fact that the commercial real estate sector is a major consumer of water and other natural resources, while also producing significant landfill waste and greenhouse gas emissions. These facts have captured the attention of regulators, the public, corporate occupiers, and investors, who are increasingly demanding more efficient, “green” buildings. There are two main programs that currently assess commercial building energy efficiency and sustainability characteristics: EPA’s Energy Star and the United States Green Building Council’s LEED Certification program. Recognition by at least one of these two programs qualified buildings for inclusion in our study. While both programs are traditionally based on voluntary adoption and disclosure, green building certification over the past years has become an important indicator of quality in the major U.S. commercial property markets.
The report goes on to note that by the end of 2013 approximately 13.2% of commercial buildings had a LEED certification and/or an Energy Star label. This compares to just 1.5% at the end of 2005.
In Miami, 19.4% of all commercial buildings qualify as “green” under this study. When calculated as square footage, 46% of all office space in Miami is “green” – well ahead of the 39.3% national average.
I had to laugh, though, when the reporters wrote: “In our study of green building adoption in the top 30 US markets, one of the surprises was Miami, which consistently placed in the top 10 in most metrics.” It shouldn’t have been too surprising given that our Miami21 building and zoning code requires that all buildings over 50,000 square feet must be built to a minimum of LEED Silver standards thanks in large part to former Mayor Manny Diaz.
The report also notes that the EPA ranks Miami at #18 in their 2014 “Top 25 cities with the most Energy Start certified buildings” and that the Southeast Financial Center has earned the Energy Star certification 10 times as well as LEED for Existing Buildings Gold certification. Well done, Miami!