Wednesday, March 06, 2013

New Report Showcases Cost-Effective Green Building Benefits Throughout the World

World Green Building Council Showcases Cost-Effective Green Building Benefits Throughout the World

New Report Released Today Highlights Financial Value of Green Buildings to Business Communities

LONDON (March 6, 2013) — A new comprehensive report released this week from the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), highlights that there are a large number of compelling benefits from green buildings received by different stakeholders throughout the life cycle of a building.

The report, "The Business Case for Green Building: A Review of the Costs and Benefits for Developers, Investors and Occupants," examines whether or not it's possible to attach a financial value to the cost and benefits of green buildings. Today, green buildings can be delivered at a price comparable to conventional buildings and investments can be recouped through operational cost savings and, with the right design features, create a more productive workplace.

"This report synthesizes credible evidence from around the world on green buildings into one collective resource, and the evidence presented highlights that sustainable buildings provide tangible benefits and make clear business sense," said Jane Henley, CEO of WorldGBC. "From risk mitigation across a building portfolio and city-wide economic benefits, to the improved health and well-being of individual building occupants, the business case for green building will continue to evolve as markets mature. Indeed we have already seen this momentum grow globally where in more and more places, green is now becoming the status quo."

Key findings include:

  • Design and Construction Costs: Research shows that building green does not necessarily need to cost more, particularly when cost strategies, program management and environmental strategies are integrated into the development process right from the start;
  • Asset Value: As investors and occupiers become more knowledgeable about and concerned with the environmental and social impacts of the built environment, buildings with better sustainability credentials will have increased marketability. In fact, studies from around the world demonstrate a pattern of greener buildings being able to more easily attract tenants and to command higher rents and sale prices;
  • Operating Costs: Green buildings have been shown to save money through reduced energy and water use and lower long-term operations and maintenance costs. The energy savings alone typically exceed any cost premiums associated with their design and construction within a reasonable payback period;
  • Workplace Productivity and Health: Research shows that the green design attributes of buildings and indoor environments can improve worker productivity and occupant health and well-being, resulting in bottom line benefits for businesses;
  • Risk Mitigation: Sustainability risk factors can significantly affect the rental income and the future value of real estate assets, in turn affecting their return on investment. Regulatory risks have become increasingly apparent in countries and cities around the world, including mandatory disclosure, building codes and laws banning inefficient buildings.

The report concludes that illustrating that by greening our built environment at the neighborhood and city scales, the green building industry can deliver on large-scale economic priorities such as climate change mitigation, energy security, resource conservation and job creation, long-term resilience and quality of life.

 "This report underscores that green buildings play a fundamental and cost-efficient role in tackling some of the immediate challenges of our times," said Rick Fedrizzi, chair of the WorldGBC and president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). "The WorldGBC is proud to continue to play a leadership role in the explosive growth of global green building industry as we all continue to create a world that will give people better, brighter, healthier spaces to live, work and play."

This report was produced in partnership with PRP Environmental along with the following sponsors: Skanska, Grosvenor, and the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council/Estidama.

About the World Green Building Council

The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) is a network of national Green Building Councils (GBCs) from around the world, making it the largest international organization influencing the green building marketplace. Green Building Councils are member-based organizations that partner with industry and government in the transformation of their building industries towards sustainability through the adoption of green building practices. On the ground in over 90 countries, GBCs create change in their local markets as a way to globalize environmentally and socially responsible building practices.  Visit:

Loyola building achieves LEED Silver status for its sustainability

The Loyola University New Orleans College of Law’s Broadway Building has achieved LEED Silver Certification for its environmentally friendly characteristics, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. The Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice, along with the Career Development and Law Practice Center and the Office of Law Skills and Experiential Learning, are located in the building.

Originally built in 1959, the Broadway Building, formerly known as the Dominican Conference Center and designed by Fernandez & Johnson Architecture, underwent a nearly $7.5 million renovation, which was completed in spring 2011. DonahueFavret Contractors Inc., was the general contractor on the project.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a certification developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to set a benchmark for design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. LEED Silver is the third highest level of achievement by the council and its Green Building Certification Institute.

Some of the environmental design features that contributed to LEED Silver Certification of the Broadway Building include:

  • Building reuse: The building is a renovation of an existing building. By maintaining the original walls, floor and roof, the impact of construction on the environment is greatly reduced.
  • Energy performance: The Broadway Building features the latest energy efficient components, including low-emittance glazed windows, energy efficient lighting systems with sensors that turn on for occupants, and efficient HVAC systems. These green characteristics reduce the building’s energy costs by 14 percent.
  • Alternative transportation: Building is within a half-mile walking distance to public transportation, reducing pollution and land development impacts on the environment from automobile use.
  • Water use reduction: All plumbing fixtures are low-flow fixtures, which use minimal potable water, reducing the building’s burden on the city’s water supply by 35 percent.
  • Heat island effect: The building also uses dark, non-reflective surfaces for roofs, walkways and other paved surfaces, which help lessen the so-called heat island effect. Because of the heat island effect, ambient temperatures in urban areas are artificially elevated by 2 to10 degrees Fahrenheit. Loyola’s Broadway Building minimizes the effect through its reflective materials, providing shade and minimizing pavement.
  • Recycled content: The project incorporated recycled building materials, thereby reducing the environmental impact of harvesting and processing virgin materials. Products with recycled content reduce solid waste volumes.

LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building, home or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. LEED Certification is the most recognized global standard for high performance buildings that are efficient, cost-effective and better for occupants and the environment.

For more information, contact James Shields in the Office of Public Affairs at 504-861-5888.