Are sustainable buildings worth more?

London, 3 November 2011 – In a new ViewPoint, CBRE launches its Sustainability Checklist aimed at establishing an evidentiary base whereby property valuers will be able to directly correlate the impact of sustainable building attributes and innovations to the value of an asset.

Mark Creamer Head of Valuation and Advisory Services, EMEA, said: “Sustainability and its promotion is an important, natural evolution of the real estate industry. Our role is to credibly address the challenge of weighing up the direct effect of sustainability initiatives on asset values – an issue for both investors and valuers. The importance of a robust evidence based approach is clear, which is why we have launched our Sustainability Checklist. The deployment of this across such a significant sample will provide a benchmark from which to assess future data.”

The ViewPoint, ‘Valuing Sustainable Buildings’ accepts that the increasing adoption of sustainable practices has provided commercial returns, often in the form of reduced operating costs, for example, on energy consumption. Another established benefit is the greater marketability of the property concerned, particularly with regard to the public sector or in markets where there is over-supply.

To date, due to the lack of direct evidence, CBRE has not incorporated sustainability factors into its appraisal methodology and does not expect, in the short term, that a building’s sustainability rating will lead to an automatic change in values. It must be evidence based.

To establish this base, CBRE has launched a Sustainability Checklist which will be incorporated from now on into property valuations, covering a statistically significant universe of approximately 15,000 commercial properties with a combined value in the region of £100 billion.

John Symes-Thompson, Senior Director, Valuation and Advisory Services, UK added: “The information gathered in our checklist, will enable the industry to map more precisely the relationship between an asset’s sustainable features and its value – and to differentiate between gimmicks and game-changing investments. As this relationship becomes more quantifiable, the benefit for investors will be that they can prioritise the projects that offer the greatest impact for both the environment and their bottom line.”