The influence of energy considerations on decision making by institutional real estate owners in the U.S

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Journal Article
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2018, 94 pp. 275 - 284
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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Large bodies of literature investigate the energy and resource impact of green buildings on consumers, environment, rent and society. However, little research exists that examines the habits and decision-making preferences of owners who operate and invest in these buildings. Industry interviews with senior-level representatives of U.S.-based institutional real estate owners (e.g. REITs, Pension Funds, Opportunity Funds, and Investment Managers) were conducted to assess energy reporting, data tracking, labeling preferences and upgrade decision making. The interviews revealed that EnergyStar and GRESB are primary reporting outlets, with LEED also relevant. Energy tracking mechanisms were quite disparate, ranging from custom built systems, EnergyStar Manager, third party providers or limited tracking. Upgrades were primarily driven by cost-benefit analysis and not sustainability-related motivations. This research shows that energy efficiency and tracking mechanisms have become the norm for institutional owners and investors.
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