Commercial Real Estate & Sustainability

It’s not only private homes that are embracing different methods of sustainability; commercial real estate is in on the act too! Green design is being integrated into commercial properties more than ever before. Not only is there a demand for such spaces, but there is a financial incentive for investors and developers as well. 

Sustainable Building Benefits for the Chicago Commercial Real Estate Market

Chicago's sustainable commercial real estate trendsIn Chicago, commercial real estate companies benefit in various ways from using green methods and sustainable practices in building their properties. In addition, developers, investors, property managers and building inhabitants benefit from sustainable buildings in the following ways:
  • Improved access to finances
  • Ease in obtaining an operator’s license
  • Reductions in operating costs
  • Enhanced interest from the market
  • Improved productivity and engagement from employees
  • Healthier work environments focused on employee well-being
Another benefit of the sustainable commercial real estate boom is the attention that the developers, investors and building managers are receiving. Since developing and operating sustainable commercial real estate is not currently a state or federal requirement, any builder taking the initiative to prioritize environmental and inhabitant well-being is receiving newsworthy praise from both the media and community at large. With local companies vying for such coveted sustainable spaces to run their businesses in, Chicago commercial real estate companies are also benefiting from the trend with increased rents and a reduction in available space for lease.

Creating Sustainable Chicago Commercial Real Estate

The US Green Building Council’s LEED program outlines various sustainable methods that can be used in developing and operating commercial real estate buildings in Chicago and across the country. These sustainable practices  relate to environmental and building benefits that:
  • Improve energy efficiency in buildings and reduce the reliance on non-renewable resources
  • Improve air quality for occupants and enhance ventilation within the structure
  • Use recycled construction materials to decrease waste and manufacturing costs
  • Reduce water waste through smarter sink and restroom facilities, as well as water collection for exterior landscaping
When developers and property managers come together to create environmentally friendly and sustainable buildings, the benefits created soon surpass the people directly tied to the building. With reduced waste, decreased water consumption and enhanced air quality, the entire community benefits as well.

Sustainable Commercial Real Estate Facts & Figures

These days, it just makes sound business sense to create green buildings. For example, LEED-certified buildings require 25% less energy to operate when compared to non-green buildings. In addition, maintenance costs in green buildings are reduced by 20% while water consumption is reduced by 15%, among many other waste, cost and energy reduction benefits. 

On the whole, sustainable commercial real estate practices improve real estate values, receive a nod of approval from prospective buyers, and can enhance the reputation of any business tied to or occupying the space. In the end, the environment as a whole gains too. It will certainly be interesting to see how this commitment to sustainable building practices evolves in 10, 20, 50 and 100 years from now.

Anne Barer

About Ro Crawford

Ro has extensive background in several sectors of the Real Estate industry including residential and commercial assets. Ro is responsible for developing a comprehensive marketing plan for each property as well as managing the company’s social media accounts. She designs, writes and edits offering memorandums, press releases, proposals for new business, eblasts and more. For questions, comments, or suggestions related to our blog, you can contact us via our website.