If you’re not familiar with the term ROI (return on investment), it’s an important one in the arena of business and sustainability. If a project is not economically sustainable, defined as benefits outweighing the costs, then it will not be completed. Today’s Five Friday Facts looks at some recent statistics about the ROI of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). These facts and figures come from an article on GreenBiz.com’s blog last week.
- Overall, fit-outs and renovations of LEED-certified buildings carried a premium of 1.84 percent, or slightly more than $18,400 per $1 million of construction cost.
- The incremental cost averaged 2.11 percent in LEED Silver buildings, and just 1.82 percent in LEED Gold buildings.
- Research shows green buildings are worth more than comparable buildings. One study reported an average 11 percent premium on the sale of LEED certified office buildings, and another found LEED buildings typically attracted 15 to 18 percent higher rent than comparable buildings.
- One analysis showed that sustainable space added value equivalent to $32.50 per square foot through an estimated 5 percent gain in worker productivity in a more comfortable environment, as well as $16.50 per square foot in reduced expenses associated with lower staff turnover and absenteeism due to a healthier and more enjoyable workplace.
- Using a formula based on research data measuring before-and-after effects of sustainable improvements on employee behavior, real estate professionals can measure the cost of LEED against the benefits in human capital. Studies that feed data into the formula have found:
- Office building-related illnesses cause $60 billion in lost productivity every year.
- Increasing daylight levels raised overall productivity by 13 percent and improved mental function and memory recall by 10 to 25 percent.
- Workplaces with good air quality and ventilation showed productivity increases of 1 to 9 percent, and gains of 3 to 11 percent correlating to temperature control.
Image source: Metropolitan Museum of Art