San Francisco again leads the 30 largest office markets for green opportunities, according
2011 Green Building Opportunity Index just released by global real estate company Cushman
& Wakefield, in collaboration with the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance's (NEEA)
The Green Building Opportunity Index remains the first office market assessment tool to provide
weighted comparisons of top U.S. office markets on the basis of both real estate fundamentals
and green development considerations. As in the inaugural 2010 version, the Index focuses on
the primary factors that influence successful development, retrofitting, leasing and sales of
investment grade green office buildings in the largest U.S. Central Business Districts (CBDs).
It compares a market's relative position to its peers in six categories: Office Market
Conditions, Investment Outlook, Green Adoption & Implementation, Local Mandates &
Incentives, State Energy Initiatives and Green Culture. For 2011, the Index has been enhanced
by adding five new markets and refining the methodology and data inputs - yielding a more
comprehensive view into market influences that determine where sustainable development brings
The 2011 Green Building Opportunity Index's top 10 markets overall:
1. San Francisco
2. Midtown NY
3. Washington, D.C.
4. Midtown South NY
5. Los Angeles
7. Downtown NY
"Green and sustainable building initiatives play a large role in solidifying a CBDs
rank in the Green Building Index," said Peter Wilcox, Senior Manager, Commercial Sector,
NEEA's BetterBricks. "For example, Seattle's adoption of the Energy Disclosure Ordinance
and Portland's stimulus-funded existing building renewal of the Edith Green/Wendell Wyatt
Federal Building are two examples that demonstrate how changes to either the regulatory scheme
or market fundamentals can dramatically change the market viability of green building
As a tool to examine the overall climate for green building, the Index assists a broad spectrum
of professionals to determine where the favorable conditions exist.
- Investment/pension fund managers and developers can use this data to consider where to put
their money and why.
- City policy makers, utility staff and planners can examine the data to understand what new
policies and incentives might be useful to accelerate green building activity.
- Building owners, architects and green building consultants can determine where green
development brings competitive advantages, or where it is simply an emerging standard.
"The second annual Green Building Opportunity Index provides in-depth analysis and insight
in determining how individual markets improve as a result of changes in incentives, policies
and other market influences that are critical for green building," said Cushman &
Wakefield's Theddi Wright Chappell, Senior Managing Director and National Practice Leader of
the Green Advisory Practice within Cushman's Valuation & Advisory group. "In addition
to serving as an excellent due diligence tool for the private sector, the Index is a first-rate
resource to guide city leaders and urban planners as they set sustainability goals for their
region, and it reflects the market nuances that bring competitive advantages to an urban
commercial real estate market."
"Transportation and proximity between employment and residency is proven to be a major -
often the major - contributor to a city's carbon and energy impact, and a key factor in
employee health and productivity," said Peter Wilcox, Senior Manager, Commercial Sector,
NEEA's BetterBricks. "Because both employees and employers are beginning to recognize this
connection, it is rightly becoming a key metric for green culture. Integrating Walk Score® into
this year's Index is a great way to reflect the outsized impacts of car-intensive places versus
compact, transit oriented, and mixed use central business districts like
Green Building Opportunity Index Profile Reports on
Seattle and Midtown New York
In addition to producing the Green Building Opportunity Index (GBOI), Cushman &
Wakefield and NEEA's BetterBricks also created GBOI Profile Reports for two of the top 30
markets - Seattle and Midtown New York. These in-depth GBOI Profile Reports offer a detailed
analysis of a number of green factors specific to those cities, including a green office index,
office market statistics, significant lease transactions, major investment sales, review of
LEED certified and ENERGY STAR® labeled buildings, a look at mandates and incentives and
What others are saying about the 2011 Green Building
Ray Mackey, Jr., RPA, CPM, CCIM, Chair, BOMA International, and Partner and Chief
Operating Officer, Stream Realty Partners, L.P.
"Sustainability has become an indispensible part of success in commercial real estate.
By taking into account market and investment conditions, government regulations and incentives,
and cultural factors, the Index provides a wide-ranging, multifaceted framework for evaluating
green opportunities in today's marketplace."
Roger Platt, Senior Vice President of Global Policy & Law at the U.S. Green Building
"Once again, the Green Building Opportunity Index is providing critical market
analysis for smart and responsible real estate investment. What's more, the findings continue
to prove the important role of smart public policy in facilitating a green building
Bob Ratliffe, Executive Vice President at Bentall Kennedy (a three time ENERGY STAR Partner
of the Year and owner of one of the nation's largest LEED portfolios)
"Institutional investors in commercial real estate will soon come to rely on the Green
Building Opportunity Index as they decide how and where to place the capital. It is abundantly
clear that "green" real estate is not a fad. The buildings that we own or plan to
build have a significant impact on the health of our planet as well as the people who
construct, operate and tenant these assets. Our investment has and will follow those cities
that continue to show leadership in this area. The Index becomes a very important tool as we
set investment strategy."
Top Cities in Each of the Six Categories
The Green Building Opportunity Index ranks each of the 30 markets on a scale comprised
of six main categories. How each city ranks for each of the six individual categories is
reported on as well.
Office Market Conditions: assesses current market fundamentals, incorporating a
combination of metrics including rent, vacancy, leasing activity and absorption. Top markets in
this category: Portland, Midtown South New York and Midtown New York.
Investment Outlook: displays forecasted future conditions through the application of
Cushman & Wakefield's proprietary forecasting methodology, which includes forecasted rent
growth, employment growth and incoming supply. Top markets in this category: San Francisco,
Midtown South New York and Midtown New York.
Green Adoption & Implementation: includes total square footage of LEED certified
CBD office space, total square footage of ENERGY STAR® CBD office space, number of LEED
accredited professionals per capita and more. Top markets in this category: Washington, D. C.,
Chicago and Denver.
Local Mandates & Incentives: assesses a municipality's commitment to sustainable
building practices, including state, county and city laws; energy incentives and availability
of direct funding. Top markets in this category: Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Midtown
South New York.
State Energy Initiatives: ranks the effectiveness of state energy policies as
measured by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). All California cities
(San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County and Oakland) received a score of 100.
Green Culture: measures a region's cultural attitudes and commitment to green and
sustainable practices. Data from Sustain Lane, "the largest online resource for going
green" that ranks a city's performance in 16 different areas, was analyzed and ranked
relative to its influence on commercial real estate. Top markets in this category: San
Francisco, Midtown South New York, Midtown New York, Downtown New York (New York City scores
tied) and Boston.