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CBRE and Maastricht University joint project 2014 Green Building Adoption Index finds Minneapolis is leading U.S. market for green commercial real estate

Study Points to Significant Growth Since 2005 in Green Building Spaces in the U.S.

​Los Angeles, 2014-6-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — Minneapolis is the U.S. city with the highest percentage of green commercial space, and green commercial real estate nationwide has increased significantly since 2005.Those are key findings of the 2014 Green Building Adoption Index, a joint project of CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG) and Maastricht University.

Other findings include:

  • After Minneapolis, where 77.0% of the commercial real estate space is certified as green, the cities with the highest percentage of green space are San Francisco (67.2%), Chicago (62.1%), Houston (54.8%) and Atlanta (54.1%).
  • Adoption of all-green standards in the U.S. has increased significantly since 2005. During that time, Energy Star-labeled buildings increased nearly 600%, and the proportion of buildings that are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified increased from less than 0.5% in 2005 to 5.0%, a more than 1,000% increase.
  • Measured by floor area, LEED-certified space now totals 19.4% of the total building stock in the 30 office markets reviewed in the project.

“We have all seen the rapid growth in the number of green-certified buildings in the markets in which we work; however, we were quite surprised to see how large the numbers actually are. Green is absolutely the new norm,” said Dave Pogue, CBRE’s Global Director of Corporate Responsibility. “We wanted to do something in the built environment to help advance the discussion of sustainability. With the Real Green Research Challenge, we have the opportunity to affect the entire real estate industry and have a lasting effect on the way real estate is built, occupied and financed, and in doing so be a force for positive environmental change.”

The Green Building Adoption Index is the first project completed under CBRE’s Real Green Research Challenge (RGRC). Launched in September 2012, the RGRC is CBRE’s US$1 million commitment to fund leading-edge sustainability research and innovation in commercial real estate.

Led by Dr. Nils Kok of Maastricht University of the Netherlands in close collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and CBRE, the study quantifies the dynamics of the growing market for green building space in U.S. markets. The study uses Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star and USGBC LEED statistical data from 2005 through 2013 and includes more than 34,000 buildings (totaling more than 3.5 billion square feet) in the central business districts of the top 30 U.S. markets (by square footage).

“This is the first study to quantify the relevance of green building practices in the commercial real estate market,” said Dr. Nils Kok, Associate Professor in Finance and Real Estate, Maastricht University. “While we all know examples of LEED-certified buildings, the results presented here are facts based on a robust methodology, not anecdotal evidence. The evidence shows that green has become mainstream in all major U.S. cities.”

Through its RGRC, CBRE is also providing funding and organizational support to sustainability projects developed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Stanford University and the EURO Institute of Real Estate Management as well as a joint project developed by Cleveland State University and Central Michigan University.

To download the full report, please click here. For more information about the RGRC, please visit

About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (in terms of 2013 revenue).  The Company has approximately 44,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through approximately 350 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting. Please visit our website at

About Maastricht University, the Netherlands
Maastricht University is a public university in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Founded in 1976, the university is the second youngest of the 13 Dutch Universities. The Department of Finance at Maastricht University performs research in all fields of finance, with particular interest for: Financial Economics, Econometrical Finance, Real Estate, ESG, and Marketing-Finance. The real estate group of the Finance department is the catalyst for research efforts in three mains areas: real estate investment performance, the economics of energy efficient and “green” building, and the effects of demography on real estate markets. Maastricht University has built a strong reputation in real estate research and education, both for its academic rigor and for its practical relevance. The department brings together the real estate knowledge of Maastricht University and its academic and industry partners in Europe and beyond. Please visit


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