Local market factors are decisive in determining how much traction green buildings truly have, according to a survey from the Corporate Realty, Design & Management Institute, and there’s a wide variance in the understanding and acceptance of green buildings throughout the United States.

Los Angeles topped a list of markets where green building issues are well understood and a corporate objective, according to the survey of architects, engineers, designers, facilities managers, building owners, developers and contractors.

Green buildings are built with environmentally friendly materials that aim to increase energy efficiency, among other things.

Overall, 35 percent of those responding said, “green building issues are well understood, and are a corporate objective.” Los Angeles was at the top of the list at 56 percent, while the Chicago suburbs ranked at the bottom at 5 percent.

Seattle at 53 percent is a close second to Los Angeles; followed by Washington, D.C., at 48 percent; Phoenix at 46 percent; Boston at 44 percent; Charlotte, N.C., at 43 percent; Chicago Downtown at 41 percent; and Denver at 38 percent. The remaining nine cities came in at 25 percent or less.

“While the progress is encouraging,” says Alan Whitson, RPA, president of Corporate Realty, Design & Management Institute, “it’s clear more education about the advantages high performance and sustainable buildings is needed, and in some markets it looks like a lot more education will be needed.”

A market about to reach the tipping point is San Diego, which has some of the highest energy costs in the nation. One-quarter of seminar attendees in San Diego said green building issues were well understood and a corporate objective. A third of the attendees said that green building issues were well understood, but not a corporate objective. Another third answered “somewhat.” Only 7 percent said “not at all.”

Corporate Realty, Design & Management Institute provides research and consulting services, and presents educational programs on high-performance buildings and the sustainable workplace in 50 markets across North America.


Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to jessica@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 133.

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