Special from National Real Estate Investor.

Retrofitting properties for energy efficiency or greater sustainability may help retail property owners market to other companies that are trying to align with green values as part of corporate culture and brand. Unfortunately, many green investments can be invisible to your tenants and the public, and fail to communicate the enhanced quality and sustainable nature of a property.

Owners that make the decision to incorporate sustainable strategies into their real estate should ask their architects to incorporate some “green chic” into their designs to showcase green elements so they can be clearly seen by customers and tenants, rather than hiding them away.

Sustainability as an optimization strategy is becoming easier to justify if for no other reason than to increase profitability. Norman Miller, a professor at the University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, undertook a study for CoStar Group in 2008.

Miller’s paper titled “Does Green Pay Off” showed that LEED properties have faster absorption rates, a mean sales price per sq. ft. of roughly 10% more than non-LEED properties, and command $11.33 per sq. ft. rental premiums over non-LEED facilities.

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