Houston ranks fourth in the country for green buildings

by Rincey Abraham

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Houston came in fourth in the 2017 National Green Building Adoption Index. The report looked at the growth of Energy Star and LEED–certified office spaces since 2005 in the 30 largest cities in the United States.

In 2016, 53 percent of all square footage in Houston was certified, which is nearly a percentage point over what it was the previous year. CBRE’s statistical set found nearly 77 million square feet in 173 LEED–certified buildings, which is 28 percent of the Houston office market. Also, LEED–certified buildings often end up selling at higher prices and with lower vacancy rates.

The study found that 10.3 percent of all buildings surveyed are Energy Star–labeled while 4.7 percent are LEED–certified, which is above last year’s totals. It also found that nine of the top 10 cities have implemented benchmarking ordinances. Those cities have 9 percent more certified buildings and 21 percent higher certified square footage.

“While it is still too early to make a definitive correlation between benchmarking ordinances and the rate of growth in ‘green’ buildings, this year’s findings do begin to establish a link that will be studied closely in the future,” said David Pogue, CBRE’s Global Director of Corporate Responsibility.

Houston Q4 2016 % of Buildings % sq. ft of Buildings
Total 21.1 53.2
Energy 16.2 42.8
LEED 9.6 28.6
   Existing Buildings 5.3 21.4
   New Construction 3.6 5.7
   Core and Shell 0.7 1.4
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