The commercial real estate sector has seen an increase in property owners pursuing the development of high-performance buildings because of their marketability benefits and alignment with corporate sustainability goals. Research has also shown that owning and operating high-performance properties is a sound investment strategy that has the potential to result in lower utility bills, improved tenant attraction and retention, as well as greater net operating income (NOI). Given the integral role brokers play in marketing, selling, and leasing buildings for property owners, it is essential to understand the full value of high-performance buildings beyond any energy efficiency designations or certifications, and how the market is trending.

The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), with support from the Department of Energy, has created The Business Case for High-Performance Buildings, a tailored course for real estate brokerage professionals to learn about the real costs and benefits of high-performance buildings and how to best support their clients. The course covers the following:

  • Major drivers for high-performance building demand
  • How energy impacts economic performance
  • Resources available for industry professionals
  • Local policy impact on commercial transactions
  • Financial benefits of high-performance buildings
  • Supporting the integration of energy factors in leasing process (“green leasing”)

“Real estate brokers are absolutely key to scaling energy efficiency in leased spaces because they are the primary source of information for prospective tenants about their options for new space,” according to Holly Carr, Energy Technology Program specialist for DOE’s Commercial Buildings Integration program. “Brokers who present building energy performance information to prospective tenants enable smart decisions about space selection that can yield benefits in the form of lower energy costs over the life of the lease. This free, online course supports brokers to locate, interpret, and communicate energy performance information for the benefit of their clients.”

In addition to learning how to make the business case for high-performance buildings, the green leasing knowledge will provide a pathway for brokers to become qualified for recognition by the Green Lease Leaders program.