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Top U.S. Markets Ranked in Second Annual 2011 Green Building Opportunity Index


Top U.S. Markets Ranked in Second Annual 2011 Green Building Opportunity Index

San Francisco, New York, Washington, D. C. and Los Angeles ranked highest in study

Contact Information:

Martin Nee/Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.

Kyle Stuart/Coates Kokes for NEEA's BetterBricks

New York, N.Y./Portland, Ore.
- San Francisco again leads the 30 largest office markets for green opportunities, according to the 2011Green Building Opportunity Index just released by global real estate company Cushman & Wakefield, in collaboration with the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance's (NEEA) BetterBricks initiative.

The Green Building Opportunity Index remains the first office market assessment tool to provide weighted comparisons of top U.S. office markets on the basis of both real estate fundamentals and green development considerations. As in the inaugural 2010 version, the Index focuses on the primary factors that influence successful development, retrofitting, leasing and sales of investment grade green office buildings in the largest U.S. Central Business Districts (CBDs). It compares a market's relative position to its peers in six categories: Office Market Conditions, Investment Outlook, Green Adoption & Implementation, Local Mandates & Incentives, State Energy Initiatives and Green Culture. For 2011, the Index has been enhanced by adding five new markets and refining the methodology and data inputs – yielding a more comprehensive view into market influences that determine where sustainable development brings competitive advantages.

The 2011 Green Building Opportunity Index's top 10 markets overall:
1. San Francisco
2. Midtown NY
3. Washington, D.C.
4. Midtown South NY
5. Los Angeles
6. Boston
7. Downtown NY
8. Portland
9. Seattle
10. Oakland

"Green and sustainable building initiatives play a large role in solidifying a CBDs rank in the Green Building Index," said Peter Wilcox, Senior Manager, Commercial Sector, NEEA's BetterBricks. "Seattle's adoption of the Energy Disclosure Ordinance and Portland's stimulus-funded Existing Building Renewal of the Edith Green/Wendell Wyatt Federal Building are two examples that demonstrate how changes to either the regulatory scheme or market fundamentals can dramatically change the market viability of green building adoption."

As a tool to examine the overall climate for green building, the Index assists a broad spectrum of professionals to determine where the favorable conditions exist.
  • Investment/pension fund managers and developers can use this data to consider where to put their money and why.
  • City policy makers, utility staff and planners can examine the data to understand what new policies and incentives might be useful to accelerate green building activity.
  • Building owners, architects and green building consultants can determine where green development brings competitive advantages, or where it is simply an emerging standard.
"The second annual Green Building Opportunity Index provides in-depth analysis and insight in determining how individual markets improve as a result of changes in incentives, policies and other market influences that are critical for green building," said Cushman & Wakefield's Theddi Wright Chappell, Senior Managing Director and National Practice Leader of the Green Advisory Practice within Cushman's Valuation & Advisory group. "In addition to serving as an excellent due diligence tool for the private sector, the Index is a first-rate resource to guide city leaders and urban planners as they set sustainability goals for their region, and it reflects the market nuances that bring competitive advantages to an urban commercial real estate market."

"While reducing building energy use is an obvious opportunity for commercial building owners and managers, transportation and proximity between employment and residency has been shown to be a major – often the major – contributor to a city's carbon and energy impact, and a key factor in employee health and productivity," said Peter Wilcox, Senior Manager, Commercial Sector, NEEA's BetterBricks. "Because both employees and employers are beginning to recognize this connection, it is rightly becoming a key metric for green culture. Integrating Walk Score® into this year's Index is a great way to reflect the outsized impacts of car-intensive places versus compact, transit oriented, and mixed use central business districts."

Green Building Opportunity Index Profile Reports on Seattle and Midtown New York

In addition to producing the Green Building Opportunity Index (GBOI), Cushman & Wakefield and NEEA's BetterBricks also created GBOI Profile Reports for two of the top 30 markets—Seattle and Midtown New York. These in-depth GBOI Profile Reports offer a detailed analysis of a number of green factors specific to those cities, including a green office index, office market statistics, significant lease transactions, major investment sales, review of LEED certified and ENERGY STAR® labeled buildings, a look at mandates and incentives and more.

What others are saying about the 2011 Green Building Opportunity Index:

Ray Mackey, Jr., RPA, CPM, CCIM, Chair, BOMA International, and Partner and Chief Operating Officer, Stream Realty Partners, L.P.
"Sustainability has become an indispensible part of success in commercial real estate. By taking into account market and investment conditions, government regulations and incentives, and cultural factors, the Index provides a wide-ranging, multifaceted framework for evaluating green opportunities in today's marketplace."

Roger Platt, Senior Vice President of Global Policy & Law at the U.S. Green Building Council
"Once again, the Green Building Opportunity Index is providing critical market analysis for smart and responsible real estate investment. What's more, the findings continue to prove the important role of smart public policy in facilitating a green building marketplace."

Bob Ratliffe, Executive Vice President at Bentall Kennedy (a three time ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year and owner of one of the nation's largest LEED portfolios).
"Institutional investors in commercial real estate will soon come to rely on the Green Building Opportunity Index as they decide how and where to place the capital. It is abundantly clear that ‘green' real estate is not a fad. The buildings that we own or plan to build have a significant impact on the health of our planet as well as the people who construct, operate and tenant these assets. Our investment has and will follow those cities that continue to show leadership in this area. The Index becomes a very important tool as we set investment strategy."

Top cities in each of the six categories
The Green Building Opportunity Index ranks each of the 30 markets on a scale comprised of six main categories. How each city ranks for each of the six individual categories is reported on as well.

Office Market Conditions: assesses current market fundamentals, incorporating a combination of metrics including rent, vacancy, leasing activity and absorption. Top markets in this category: Portland, Midtown South New York and Midtown New York

Investment Outlook: displays forecasted future conditions through the application of Cushman & Wakefield's proprietary forecasting methodology, which includes forecasted rent growth, employment growth and incoming supply. Top markets in this category: San Francisco, Midtown South New York and Midtown New York

Green Adoption & Implementation: includes total square footage of LEED certified CBD office space, total square footage of ENERGY STAR® CBD office space, number of LEED accredited professionals per capita and more. Top markets in this category: Washington, D. C., Chicago and Denver

Local Mandates & Incentives: assesses a municipality's commitment to sustainable building practices, including state, county and city laws; energy incentives and availability of direct funding. Top markets in this category: Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Midtown South New York

State Energy Initiatives:
ranks the effectiveness of state energy policies as measured by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). All California cities (San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County and Oakland) received a score of 100

Green Culture:
measures a region's cultural attitudes and commitment to green and sustainable practices. Data from Sustain Lane, "the largest online resource for going green" that ranks a city's performance in 16 different areas, was analyzed and ranked relative to its influence on commercial real estate. Top markets in this category: San Francisco, Midtown South New York, Midtown New York, Downtown New York (New York City scores tied) and Boston

About Cushman & Wakefield
Cushman & Wakefield is the world's largest privately-held commercial real estate services firm. Founded in 1917, it has 234 offices in 61 countries and more than 13,000 employees. The firm represents a diverse customer base ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. It offers a complete range of services within five primary disciplines: Transaction Services, including tenant and landlord representation in office, industrial and retail real estate; Capital Markets, including property sales, investment management, investment banking, debt and equity financing; Corporate Occupier & Investor Services, including integrated real estate strategies for large corporations and property owners; Consulting Services, including business and real estate consulting; and Valuation & Advisory, including Green Advisory, appraisals, highest and best use analysis, dispute resolution and litigation support, along with specialized expertise in various industry sectors. A recognized leader in global real estate research, the firm publishes a broad array of proprietary reports available on its online Knowledge Center at

About NEEA's BetterBricks

BetterBricks is the commercial building initiative of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), which is supported by Northwest electric utilities. Through BetterBricks, NEEA advances ideas to accelerate energy savings in new and existing commercial buildings. BetterBricks education & training, online resources and recognition of industry leaders guide and inspire building professionals to embrace best practices, improve energy performance and achieve their sustainability goals. Visit to connect to these powerful energy ideas and more.

NOTE TO MEDIA: To access the Green Building Opportunity Index, as well as the study's comprehensive Profile Reports on Seattle and Midtown New York, visit Cushman & Wakefield's Green Advisory Practice or NEEA's BetterBricks website. Individuals will be able to order in-depth market Profile Reports about the 28 other markets listed in the Index for a fee. Study authors completed the Seattle and New York City market profiles as an example of the detail that will be provided for other specific city profiles.