The growth of total number of green office buildings is one way to measure the momentum of the green building movement. According to a research study by CoStar/PPR, the percentage of rentable building area or RBA in LEED-rated office space increased over a three-year period from 2006 to 2009. This is largely thanks to construction developers in Chicago, Seattle, New York and Washington.
In 2009, 50.4% of the RBA were LEED-certified. This is a huge leap from 2006, where only 17.4% of the total RBA were LEED-certified. Although the percentage has dropped down to 42.2% in 2010 and a further reduction of 25.1% in 2011, the LEED deliveries were nonetheless high for the years following 2009.
There are certain areas that outperformed others. For instance, Portland had a 90% LEED total net absorption from 2009 and 2011. Cincinnati, on the other hand, had a 80% total net absorption.
It seems that sticking with green office space is worth the investment in gold. One proof is a study by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in 2011, entitled Sustainability and the Dynamics of the Financial Performance of Green Office Buildings in the USA. It showed that specifically between the periods of 2007 to 2009, green office buildings had higher occupancy rates and rents than those that were not energy-efficient.
Employers have also begun to realize that green office space is also relevant in the competition for talent. In order to hire the best of the working force, they have realized that they need to shape up. In an interview, one-third of job hunters said that they would be more willing to work for a green company. More than half of the respondents would want their employers to become more environmentally conscious.
With the promise of financial stability for building owners and getting the best employees for employers, the case for green office space has become all the more compelling.