This paper from the Institute of Business and Economic Research explores the effect that sustainability improvements in buildings have on the economy. The paper discusses the measurements and data sources documenting the energy efficiency of U.S. buildings, analyzes short-run price dynamics based on a panel of green commercial buildings, and presents new evidence on the economic returns to the investments in green buildings.

Read this report from New York City to learn about its benchmarking ordinance, which requires all large buildings in the city to measure and disclose energy consumption annually. This report is the first analysis of New York City benchmarking data and provides comprehensive recommendations to improve the quality of energy benchmarking and the ease of compliance for building owners.

According to this landmark study by McKinsey & Company, energy efficiency is a huge untapped energy resource in the United States. How big? They estimate the country could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 23 percent through cost-effective investments in energy efficiency. This is like taking the entire U.S. fleet of passenger vehicles and light trucks off the roads. The study also highlights the important role benchmarking plays in unlocking the barriers to efficiency.

This white paper from the Green Building Finance Consortium examines the untapped energy efficiency potential held by commercial buildings in the state of California. It analyzes obstacles to achieving widespread adoption of building efficiencies and explores approaches to removing these barriers.

This paper explores a 2010 survey conducted by CoreNet Global and Jones Lang LaSalle, which revealed a trend among corporate real estate executives toward sustainability strategies. The report explores the consideration of sustainability when determining location, the willingness to pay more for green space, and the workplace benefits of sustainability, such as employee health and productivity.

Read this paper, by researches at UCLA, Maastricht University, and UC Berkeley, to learn about the electricity consumption of commercial buildings. The paper looks at a large sample of buildings from California over a 10-year period. The paper discusses the impact of structure quality on electricity consumption, and also explores the role that tenant behavior and tenant incentives play in determining a building’s environmental performance.

Read this report from A Better City and Meister Consultants Group, Inc., on behalf of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission’s Commercial Real Estate Working Group, to learn about the benchmarking and disclosure policies that are becoming a trend in major cities across America. This report summarizes lessons learned from the first U.S. cities to implement benchmarking and disclosure programs with interviews from city representatives as well as members of the federal government.

This PDF contains the entire 310-page Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). EISA lays the groundwork for federal agencies to increase the efficiency of products and buildings, promote research on and deploy greenhouse gas capture and storage options, and improve the energy performance of the federal government. Read this act to understand the federal government's initiative to prevent greenhouse gas emissions and protect our climate, part of which includes the use of ENERGY STAR benchmarking tools and resources.