Doing Well by Doing Good? Green Office Buildings
AbstractThis 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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- G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
- M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
- Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
- R33 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Nonagricultural and Nonresidential Real Estate Markets
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