A lot of property owners, particularly in office, for a long time scoffed at the idea that tenants would drive the changeover to buildings that are more energy efficient. Smart business owners have long focused on making their properties as efficient as possible, but when it made economic sense (mostly).
Today, with the adoption of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which requires that all new federal government leases be in Energy Star buildings, and renewals undergo energy-efficiency upgrades starting in 2010, building owners understand now more than ever that the "green" momentum continues. Similarly, many cities have green bilding and/or green lease requirements in place.
Which leads to an interesting observation by some experts -- that in some markets there will not be adequate inventory to meet the demand for green space as these conditions and interests kick in across the United States.
Stimulus finding from the Obama White House is supporting a variety of ventures related to commercial real estaet, including energy audits, retrofits, dvelopment and implementation of advance building codes, inspections and financial incentives for energy efficiency improvements.
Some of these requirements, in my opinion, are heavy-handed and designed to inflate the bureaucracy. But they are there. And even more interestingly, just as the employees of many companies will drive -- or nudge -- their employers to get involved in community programming, so is there growing interest in nudging firms to look at green initiatives as a way to do something for the community.
In fact, the New York Times in march 2009 reported on the growing trend of chief sustainability officers being added to exec rosters at numerous large corporations, including Sun Microsystems, Georgia Pacific and Dupont.