Four Reasons Tenants Like Green Buildings
Sustainable buildings create a lot of debate, but one thing is certain: tenants really like them. The research confirms it, DTZ sustainability services VP Allison Porter (pictured atop a longhorn in San Antonio at a DTZ conference last year) tells us. Evaluating responses to Kingsley Associates’ tenant surveys (an industry standard in measuring tenant satisfaction) about sustainability certifications, it shows that tenants pay attention to certs like LEED and Energy Star, among others. Here’s Allison’s top four list of why tenants like green buildings.
1. They're comfortable
Behind a high-performing building is a talented, focused management and engineering team keeping it running smoothly. A sustainability-minded owner has a major role in keeping the building well-maintained and even upgrading it with new equipment or features. Both these things can contribute significantly to creating indoor spaces that are comfortable and appealing to tenants.
2. They feel engaged
The three certifications Allison studied are all whole-building ratings, which mean they depend on the tenant's choices and behaviors as well as the landlord's. When the results are good, it creates the sense that the landlord and tenant are on the same winning team. A good example, Allison says, is Fountain Place (1445 Ross Ave in Dallas). The previous ownership, J.P Morgan, earned LEED EB Silver certification in 2011, but sought to go further by implementing a robust upgrade program to maximize energy and water efficiency, while enhancing building operations for tenant comfort. It also launched an ongoing tenant educational program to encourage smart energy use, environmentally preferred purchasing and water efficiency practices. In 2013, Fountain Place re-certified at a higher level: LEED EB Gold. The new owners, Goddard, also have plans for upgrades to the building, Dallas leaders have told us.
3. They have their own goals
Many organizations incorporate environmental and other social responsibility goals into their business or mission. Third-party certifications help them make choices to achieve those goals, and to communicate their accomplishments to others.
4. They want the best talent
Lots of research has shown that employees like it when their employer shares their values—and that link is increasingly important as the Millennial generation becomes a larger part of the workforce. Sustainability certifications are a useful tool for recruiting and retaining top talent who can “shop” for companies that match their ideals.