By Justin Arnold
Improving the energy efficiency of Class B and C office buildings is doable with relatively simple, lower-cost measures that not only enhance building performance, but boost property values to make the buildings more competitive with Class A space, according to new research from the Urban Land Institute (ULI).
Unlocking Hidden Value in Class B/C Commercial Buildings explores the opportunities and challenges associated with incorporating energy efficient retrofits and upgrades in buildings that tend to be bypassed for such improvements due to skepticism regarding the payback for the effort. The report, generously supported with funding from the Building Owners and Managers Association and Yardi Systems Inc., was prepared by The ULl Greenprint Center for Building Performance and the Rocky Mountain Institute.
“In a changing market with evolving tenant preferences, new energy efficiency technologies, and continued policy action to reduce building emissions, buildings implementing energy efficiency can stay ahead of the market,” said Billy Grayson, executive director of The ULI Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance, which includes the Greenprint Center.
Unlocking Hidden Value points to the disadvantages keeping Class B and C property owners and managers from fully embracing green building practices:
- Information-constraints – stakeholders are often so consumed with daily operations that they do not focus on staying abreast of best practices in energy efficiency;
- Resource constraints – Class B and C buildings rarely have staff dedicated to energy efficiency efforts; and
- Funding constraints – Budgets and capital planning for these buildings tend not to be large enough to support significant energy retrofits with large up-front costs.