LEED and ENERGY STAR buildings are at least 25% more energy efficienct and rent more quickly and at higher rates

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) or ENERGY STAR rated buildings out-perform conventional buildings in terms of rental rates, occupancy rates and rental rates, two studies have found.

The research conducted into environmentally-rated US buildings also found that they were more energy efficient.

The findings offer a boost for developers looking for positive market signals for their green developments.

In the study conducted by the New Building Institute (NBI), results indicate that LEED-certified buildings perform 25-30% better than non-LEED certified buildings in terms of energy use and that there is a correlation between increasing levels of LEED certification and increased energy savings. Gold and Platinum LEED certified buildings have average energy savings approaching 50%.

And according to research by CoStar, LEED buildings command rent premiums of $11.24 (£5.70) above their non-LEED counterparts and have a 3.8% higher occupancy rental.

Meanwhile, ENERGY STAR buildings represent a $2.38 (£1.19) per square foot premium over comparable non-ENERGY STAR buildings and have a 3.6% higher occupancy. ENERGY STAR buildings are selling for an average of $61 (£31) per sq foot more than a ‘normal’ building.

Different Markets

But UK experts warned against drawing conclusions about the UK market based on the findings.

A spokesman for RICS said: "It is unclear whether energy rated buildings out perform conventional buildings in the UK as there hasn't been a comparative study produced. This is something to look at in the future once EPCs are established in commercial buildings."

LEED is a suite of sustainable construction standards developed by the US Green Building Council. ENERGY STAR is a US Governmental programme to promote energy efficient consumer products.