LEED Platinum Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas. Credit: rutlo via Flickr
The US Green Building Council has responded to the increasing prominence and popularity of green building among investors with the introduction of new tools for assessing the sustainability and environmental friendliness of real estate projects.
The two new tools launched by the US Green Building Council are the Green Building Information Gateway (GBIG), first unveiled in November of last year, and the US Green Real Estate Index, slated for release this autumn. It is hoped they will raise transparency and trackability with respect to green building projects.
The GBIG is a database of information on LEED certification and other green building certification amassed by the Green Building Council over the course of a decade, and provides users with a global platform equipped with a vast trove of data and powerful analytic capabilities.
The global platform will enable people to examine the detailed specifications of individual buildings possessing green credentials by providing information on areas such as energy efficiency, water efficiency and daylight views.
The GBIG will also let users view such information in context by providing comparisons to other buildings and the average figures for various specifications. As a database of certified green buildings, it also comes equipped with a powerful search function, enabling developers or investors to look for projects based on their specific requirements.
The gateway allows users to avail themselves of an immense body of data by tracking 80,000 buildings engaging in around 133,000 green building activities, covering around 1,000 different green building strategies including green roofs and energy efficiency.
According to US Green Building Council vice president Chris Pyke, the CBIG will play a vital role in heightening understanding of the green building segment of the construction industry.
“The intent of GBIG is to provide some transparency and context for those green building activities and the ability to learn from those highest-performing projects,” he said.
The FTSE NAREIT USGBC US Green Real Estate Index, developed by the US Green Building Council in collaboration with the FTSE Group in London and NAREIT in Washington DC, provides users with another powerful tool for assessing the green specifications of prospective real estate investments.
Pyke says the new tool is based upon pre-existing real estate tools developed by FTSE and NAREIT, which have reached an advanced state of maturity and are widely used by institutional investors.
“The original FTSE NAREIT Index tracks about $500 billion worth of REIT assets. We are looking at a slice of that … at the intersection between those 30,000-plus properties and the 15,000-plus LEED-certified properties and the 17,000-plus Energy Star-labeled properties,” he said.
The US Green Real Estate Index is slated for release to institutional investors this quarter, with Pyke expecting brokerages to initially use the index to create investable products for environmentally concerned clients.