A recent conference in Austin, Texas, of real estate appraisers explored how they should incorporate green-building techniques and features into their assessment of properties.
"Sustainable elements, such as high-efficient heating and air systems, provide energy cost savings. Lower operating costs in turn mean the building can become more valuable to an owner or a potential buyer.
'We are starting to see some empirical evidence that investors are willing to pay more for a green building than a non-green one,' says Amorin. 'I think we're at the precipice of a big change in commercial real estate.' Once building owners realize that a growing number of companies want to be in green structures, the money will flow in that direction and the cost of non-green buildings will start to decline, Amorin predicts.
Some of the questions discussed at the seminar included:
Are green building investments going to pay off in the long term?
How can the market and appraisers establish a reliable value of green buildings when there are a limited number of properties for comparison?"