We know that sustainable buildings are better for the environment and more often than not, the hip pocket, but can they truly offer more value to our office spaces? If the latest report by the Australian Property Institute (API) is anything to go by, those sentiments certainly ring true. With the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) showing overwhelming support for office retrofits, they may have further ammunition with the findings of this report.
In a study of over 300 New South Wales office buildings, both NABERs (206) and non-NABERs (160) rated, the findings were in complete favour of the former. The report ‘Building Better Returns’ showcases buildings in both Sydney and Canberra. 90 of the NABERs rated buildings are located in the Sydney CBD, with a further 91 in suburban Sydney and 25 in suburban Canberra.
Of the 366 buildings rated, those with a 5 star NABERs energy rating showed a 9% green premium value. When the rating dropped one to one and a half stars, the premium dropped to 2 – 3 %.
An incredibly interesting aspect of the report also showed that green premiums in buildings also reduced vacancies, reduced outgoings, reduced incentives and reduced yields, each intensified with higher levels of NABERs energy ratings.
In the final comment of the report, assessors noted the importance of sustainable office buildings to the industry, and how investigation into this growing sector is a necessary factor in gaining the best industry workplace model.
“Green office buildings are a key element in the office property landscapes in Australia, supported strongly by all stakeholders in the sustainability agenda,” the report states, “This research has been the first key step in trying to explicitly articulate and assess the premium attached to green office buildings in Australia in a rigorous manner, using internationally-accepted methodologies”.
Office spaces are some of the highest carbon emitters in this country. With the average person spending most of their life in these buildings it makes sense to get the most value out of them. The report will go a long way in convincing those who may be a little more concerned with their hip pocket rather than the environment that retrofitting energy inefficient spaces is a feasible and value driven opportunity.
The majority of the battle for promoters of green building such as the GBCA is convincing its worth to big businesses. With the aid of the report and its statistics, that battle may be over.