Green realities : the financial opportunities of environmental sensitive development in the commercial real estate development industry
Author(s)Finch, Michael Eugene, 1975-
Financial opportunities of environmental sensitive development in the commercial real estate development industry
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
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Scientific research has made clear the impacts of the built environment on energy consumption, human health, and greenhouse gas emissions. Despite academic and political advocacy for the widespread adoption of a more environmentally sensitive approach to real estate development, industry practitioners and investors adhere to traditional development techniques due to the financial uncertainty surrounding new development paradigms. A financial argument is needed if developers and real estate investors are to adopt environmentally responsive development practices. In an attempt to define a financial rationale, this thesis explores opportunities for financial savings and gains as a result of employing environmentally sensitive development practices. Using commercial green development case studies, (1) green building design strategies, (2) environmentally sensitive siting practices, (3) green development incentive programs, and (4) integrated development processes were examined in terms of opportunities for financial gain and development savings potential. Opportunities for development savings were identified in all four areas. Green building design strategies often result in high indoor environmental quality-increasing worker productivity, reducing absenteeism, and avoiding liability risks associated with building related illnesses and sick building syndrome. Resource efficient urban design strategies can reduce development hard costs, maximize energy cost savings, and decrease revenue risk. Participation in green development incentive programs can yield energy and capital rebates, tax savings, and free technical consulting. Finally, and perhaps the most significant finding of this thesis, integrative development processes reduce community and governmental friction, align project interests, and most importantly, create forums in which building systems can be collaboratively integrated and cost savings can be optimized. There are financial advantages to undertaking commercial green development projects. Within a grounded, industry context, this thesis presents a preliminary foundation for the financial argument required to convince real estate investors and developers that what is good for the environment is also good for commercial real estate investment.
Thesis (M.C.P. and S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 1999.Includes bibliographical references (p. 85-89).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.