Green buildings are the buildings that use lesser resources and have a less significant negative force on the environment as compared to the traditional buildings. The water used is less, optimise energy effectiveness, preserve natural resources and produce less waste. Green buildings do not compromise on the service and comfort of the people staying and working there. It is designed in such a way that its resource competence is achieved during its operation and maintenance also. Also the efficiency is attained in other stages of its lifecycle (i.e. – construction, redevelopment, and even demolition).
Rob Watson is the pioneer of green building and architect Anne Johnson stated that green buildings are the thing of tomorrow and in the near future. According to several recent studies it has been seen that the real estate and the green building is set to experience boom in the coming five years and beyond. There is an increased consensus and the concept of dream home has evolved in the past five years. Unlike the earlier years when the dream was just a huge mansion, the current dreams are that of a green, energy efficient house made of sustainable material. Now people pursue small, environment friendly and energy efficient homes.
Though the green homes are preferred and produce smaller carbon impact, they have acquired the reputation of being expensive. However, there is a class of people who are willing to pay a little extra for green real estates. Later these places convert into higher sales prices depending on the local market. In 2009, USGBC (the United States Green Building Council) had undertaken a study which had projected the green construction to contribute around $554 billion to the economy. It was also seen in that study, that green buildings are helping saving the owners money.
2012 claims to be the year of green homes, energy efficient appliances and low carbon impact home building materials. Not only in terms of energy savings green real estate has benefits otherwise. According to study, green real estate spaces were given higher rental, as high as 13 percent more than regular and lower vacancy rates, i.e. around 4% less than average. Green real estates’ are beneficial for owners as well as tenants seeking for lower costs and higher productivity.
The improvement cost of a green building, which is 5% to 8% higher than of a traditional one, has been a major barrier. As a consequence, the lease rentals in green building are comparatively more. But according to sources, due to considerable savings of 15 to 20 per cent that comes at the operating level (energy, water and maintenance), tenants have shown good tendency to take up green space.
Also in the commercial sector adoption of green building materials, high vacancy rate and government incentives are motivating a strong growth in the country with reference to building value and efficiency. Commercial space owners adopt green retro fits because the high performance green building space experiences lower vacancy rate and higher premium as compared to the traditional spaces. The corporate America has already taken steps towards the green real estate. Many construction companies have also taken up building and renovating buildings according to the green standards.
Developed and developing economies are tackling the dual challenge of a growing demand for declining resources shared with the need to decrease environmental impact. Sustainability has progressively become a crucial factor in the assessment of real estate options. There is an increasing awareness amongst property owners and people occupying those places that the sustenance and environment preservation are key factors.
Despite the global economic slowdown, the Indian real estate sector has gone green. In a report, ‘Green Buildings: Benefits and Future Outlook’, published by DTZ International Property Advisers Pvt Ltd, the total supply of green realty space has doubled to 6.8 million sq ft in September 2009 from an early- 2007 level of 3.8 million sq ft, said a report.
Green building concepts have also gained momentum in countries like India where developers and occupiers are keen on a green real estate. Major companies like Wipro, Microsoft, TCS and Cognizant have already developed or are developing energy efficient office spaces. There are many Major LEED India Certified Green Real Estate Projects in India. The green estates are gaining momentum in a small but growing manner. Many national developers are responding with lots of new projects. These projects are for residential, retail as well as commercials purposes. There are numerous challenges when green building techniques are to be implemented. The limitations of flexibility in design and budget are a few problem areas. It is necessary to take into consideration the concept of sustainable design appropriate for building type and the location, from the pre construction planning stage itself. Hence it can be said that green real estates are gaining momentum in not only developed nations but also in developing countries as well.
Author Bio: Jason Phillips is the person who has written this post. Jason mainly works for a real estate company called smsf property investment. His work profile there is to review the current market conditions in the field of property investment and real estate.