This paper from Maastricht University compares certified green buildings with nearby buildings and determines that buildings with green ratings command substantially higher rents and selling prices than otherwise comparable buildings. According to researchers, ENERGY STAR certified buildings command a rental premium of about 3%, have higher occupancy, and bring in a 16% premium on selling prices.

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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 paper from Duke University focuses primarily on the development of an updated ENERGY STAR industrial Energy Performance Indicator (EPI) for the cement industry and the change in the energy performance of the industry observed when the benchmarking system was updated from the original benchmark in 1997 to the new benchmark in 2008.

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.

What are the cost benefits to building green? This report from Springer Science + Business Media answers the question by exploring the relationship between green building design and leasing, as well as sales markets for commercial real estate. Energy efficient design can cost more, but it results in higher occupancy, rents, and selling prices for your ENERGY STAR certified projects.

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.

This report from the Institute for Market Transformation examines how mandatory rating and disclosure policies can help achieve real progress in reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in U.S. commercial buildings. Using best practices in current policies, this paper lays out a policy framework for maximizing the market transformation potential of rating commercial buildings.

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.