Good news for environmentalists in the US this week, as the number of green retrofitted buildings overtook the number of newly constructed green buildings for the first time.
According to a reports by the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC), by December this year the number of existing buildings with a certification in Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) had surpassed new construction LEED buildings by 15-million square feet. The trend for retrofitting is something that has exploded in the US since 2008 as building owners try to save money by making commercial and residential spaces more environmentally friendly. LEED-certified buildings are not only more energy and water efficient, but they also benefit from improved indoor air quality thanks to a reduction in the use of toxic cleaning products. Over the next four years the industry of retrofitting older buildings so that they adhere to LEED environmental standards could be worth up to $18 billion in the US alone.
The increase in retrofitted LEED-certified buildings is a direct result of the global economic slowdown and its impact on new construction in the US, according to David Cohen, senior director of property at Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co, the first property insurance firm to offer green insurance in the US. He believes that green buildings have a threefold appeal by benefitting owners, tenants and the environment. “Green buildings can boost real estate owners’ bottom lines by reducing operating costs, attracting and retaining quality tenants and improving the environment,” he says. A study by CoStar Group seems to agree with him, reporting that green buildings outperform their non-green peers in terms of occupancy, sale price and rental rates. And the owners of the recently LEED-certified Empire State Building have forecast that they will cut energy consumption by an incredible 38 percent saving $4.4 million annually – not bad for a building that’s 80 years old.
There are over 43,000 projects across the globe participating in the LEED rating systems. For a glance at some of the more recent developments, make sure you don’t miss MIPIM 2012 held in Cannes, 6-9 March. For accommodation look no further than EAS, your friendly local travel agents. We can provide you with the best hotels, apartments, and even luxury yachts right in the heart of Cannes. With our expert knowledge of the region, we’ll ensure that you have the best stay possible. Click on this link to fill in our request form.