A new report from ULI’s Greenprint Center for Building Performance shows that the commercial real estate industry is making significant progress in reducing energy consumption, carbon emissions, water use, and waste disposal. Volume 9 of the Greenprint Performance Report™, which tracks, benchmarks, and analyzes the performance of nearly 8,000 properties globally owned by Greenprint’s members, demonstrates a 3.3 percent reduction in energy consumption, a 3.4 percent reduction in carbon emissions, and a 2.9 percent reduction in water use between 2016 and 2017.
How can a park protect a city from extreme flooding? Houston’s 160-acre (65 ha) Buffalo Bayou Park demonstrated resilience during Hurricane Harvey, surviving the storm with minimal damage and providing critical green infrastructure to the city during the peak event. In this video, learn about the park’s design and development firsthand from members of ULI’s Houston district council.
Some $360 billion of U.S. institutional real estate is in the top 20 percent of locations vulnerable to sea-level rise. Given significant portfolio allocations to gateway markets, institutional real estate portfolios have considerable exposure to climate change. This raises the question as to whether investors have factored in the challenge of rising sea levels alongside the perceived positives of gateway markets.
One of the most difficult challenges for those seeking to adopt emerging technologies in commercial real estate is justifying the cost of implementing such measures. A recent ULI event in Boston highlighted the benefits of the evolving standards on health and wellness by five industry practitioners.
Many vibrant urban green spaces, particularly plants with flower or fruit, can’t survive without pollinators. The Best Bees Company, based in Boston, is looking to help property owners find space to help create sustainable ecosystems for green roofs, street trees, and other urban greenery.
New Energy Star building performance metrics being applied on August 27 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could lower the score of almost every building participating in the program, which encompasses over half of commercial real estate building floor space in the United States. This will cause some to fall below the 75-point level needed to achieve certification through the program.
Implementing strategies at the building, development, and community levels can preserve functionality despite extreme weather.
Landscape design can go beyond aesthetics to contribute to resilience in ways that save money and improve lives.
With buildings accounting for 75 percent of U.S. electricity consumption, achieving these commitments will require the active participation and cooperation of the real estate sector. However, many U.S. cities are still in the very early stages of developing new policies and incentive programs to support the real estate industry in transitioning to more energy-efficient building development and management.
Changsha is a bustling city of 7 million people in China’s central Hunan province. The Baxi River meanders through the city, carrying water flows that have created 15 scattered islands near the city. Seasonal flooding, rapid water flow, and constructed monocultures have caused escalating erosion, destabilization, and loss of habitat along the banks. Past approaches to managing the river have favored the creation of hard edges to protect land and property. With the two-mile-long (3.2 km), 156-acre (63 ha) Baxi River Forest Island, the local government tried a new approach. It embraced the river ecosystem, creating a new park that is helping both nature and people thrive.