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Doing Well by Doing Good? Green Office Buildings

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  • Eichholtz, Piet
  • Kok, Nils
  • Quigley, John M.

Abstract

This paper provides the first credible evidence on the economic value of the certification of "green buildings" -- value derived from impersonal market transactions rather than engineering estimates. For some 10,000 subject and control buildings, we match publicly available information on the addresses of Energy Star and LEED-rated office buildings to the characteristics of these buildings, their rental rates and selling prices. We find that buildings with a "green rating" command rental rates that are roughly three percent higher per square foot than otherwise identical buildings - controlling for the quality and the specific location of office buildings. Ceteris paribus, premiums in effective rents are even higher - above six percent. Selling prices of green buildings are higher by about 16 percent. For the Energy-Star-certified buildings in this sample, we subsequently obtained detailed estimates of site and source energy usage from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Our analysis establishes that variations in the premium for green office buildings are systematically related to their energy-saving characteristics. For example, an increase of ten percent in the site energy utilization efficiency of a green building is associated with a two percent increase in selling price - over and above the 16 percent premium for a labeled building. Further calculations suggest that a one dollar saving in energy costs from increased thermal efficiency yields roughly eighteen dollars in the increased valuation of an Energy-Star certified building.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy in its series Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series with number qt507394s4.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:bphupl:qt507394s4

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Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences;

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References

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  1. Piet Eichholtz & Nils Kok & John M. Quigley, 2013. "The Economics of Green Building," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 50-63, March.
  2. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  3. V. Öven & Dilek Pekdemir, 2006. "Office Rent Determinants Utilising Factor Analysis—A Case Study for İstanbul," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 51-73, August.
  4. Eichholtz, Piet & Kok, Nils & Quigley, John M., 2010. "Why Do Companies Rent Green? Real Property and Corporate Social Responsibility," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt7br1062q, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
  5. John L. Glascock & Shirin Jahanian & C. F. Sirmans, 1990. "An Analysis of Office Market Rents: Some Empirical Evidence," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 18(1), pages 105-119.
  6. David P. Baron, 2001. "Private Politics, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Integrated Strategy," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 7-45, 03.
  7. Webb, R. Brian & Fisher, Jeffrey D., 1996. "Development of an Effective Rent (Lease) Index for the Chicago CBD," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-19, January.
  8. Maxwell, John W & Lyon, Thomas P & Hackett, Steven C, 2000. "Self-Regulation and Social Welfare: The Political Economy of Corporate Environmentalism," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 583-617, October.
  9. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1984. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 709, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  10. Gunnelin, Ake & Soderberg, Bo, 2003. "Term Structures in the Office Rental Market in Stockholm," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2-3), pages 241-65, March-May.
  11. Sivitanidou Rena, 1995. "Urban Spatial Variations in Office-Commercial Rents: The Role of Spatial Amenities and Commercial Zoning," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 23-49, July.
  12. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
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