Michael Shilale, AIA, LEED a guest speaker at a national commercial real estate webinar
Today Michael Shilale, AIA, LEED was the guest speaker in a national webinar for over 70 commercial real estate brokers. The monthly series brings experts from around the nation to this interactive program. The event was moderated by Charles Frankel, MBA, CPA, EcoBroker at KW Commercial Realty.
Michael Shilale was asked to speak about the impact of sustainable design on the real estate market. Major players in the commercial real estate market cannot overstate the impact of green on this industry. Hines and RREEF, two global real estate companies controlling asset valued at over 100 billion dollars, confirm transformation is happening.
“Green building is fundamentally altering real estate market dynamics.”
“Clients don’t think it’s Class A unless it’s green.”
The benefits to green commercial real estate are many. Numerous studies have shown an increase in rent and occupancy ratios along with a decrease in operating costs; green buildings also have greater valuation and offer higher returns on investments. Listeners wanted to know how to define green buildings, why green buildings are important and how to help clients ‘green’ their buildings and projects.
Michael summarized how to define a ‘green’ building, and how there are several rating systems out there – LEED being the preeminent one. He also described how commercial real estate agents can assist their clients in identifying low cost or cost neutral improvements.
Energy audits and benchmarking can help identify improvement opportunities and are value added services agents can bring to their clients. Benchmarking buildings only requires a few minutes securing the building’s utility data and uploading it to Energystar.gov. This free service will compare the energy use in your building to similar buildings in your climate area to see how well or poorly the building performs relative to its energy use per square foot. The average existing commercial building uses twice the energy per square foot as a brand new, code compliant building. Compared to ‘green’ buildings most of our existing commercial buildings waste a tremendous amount of energy. That’s bad for the owner’s operating budget but makes an old building a prime candidate for an energy saving improvement project.
Energy Saving Performance Contracts are one way to implement capital improvements that save energy at no cost to the client. The cost for the work is offset by the energy savings realized. The energy savings are guaranteed. If the savings are not realized you are reimbursed the difference. If you realize more savings than anticipated you get to keep the additional dollars.
Many other strategies were discussed and Chuck and Michael had what was described as a lively, interesting and informative discussion.
If you would like to view the slides for the presentation you canclick here.