Building green can save money

A visiting professor at UC Berkeley compared real estate transactions and found that office buildings with energy-efficiency certification get higher rents, more tenants and higher sales prices.

Dr. Nils Kok presented the information at a workshop entitled "Doing Well by Doing Good: Green Office Buildings" last month. The study included about 10,000 buildings in the United States and concluded that those with a green rating commanded rents that were 3% higher than comparable non-green structures - and the sales prices increased 16%.

Studies showed that a $1 dollar saving in energy costs translated to an $18 increase in value. And the gain in value appeared to be greater in smaller or low-cost regions, and in less tony neighborhoods.

The study concluded that sustainable builders have longer economic lives due to less depreciation and less volatility in value.