Amidst Deepening Recession, Green Fights Back


Green Building has Shown Uncommon Resiliency Through First Year of Recession

Despite a slowdown affecting nearly all segments of the commercial property industry, green building is positioned to withstand the deepening economic recession and possibly emerge as a more influential force than before, sustainability advocates say.

The optimism stems from a groundswell of popularity that carried green building to the forefront of the industry heading into the downturn, as well as the idea that sustainability can help building stakeholders cut costs.

Lately, the financial case for green buildings -- that they are cheaper to operate and display better fundamentals than conventional buildings -- has become the chief rallying cry for the movement.

“There’s been a focus shift from just ‘green, green, green’ to actual feasibility,” said Shannon Sentman, a real estate attorney at Holland & Knight in Washington, DC, who specializes in green building. “People are realistic. Most realize that this is a bottom line issue and it’s not only economical to do it, it’s bad for the bottom line if you don’t.”

That argument has become more credible as new studies suggest a stronger correlation between green buildings and lower energy costs, which has appealed universally to both tenants and owners and translated into leasing and selling advantages in many markets.

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