San Francisco Ranked as One of the Top Ten U.S. Cities for Green Commercial Real Estate in New CBRE and Maastricht University Study

Study Points to Significant Growth in Green Building Spaces in the U.S. Since 2005

SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco is among the top 10 U.S. cities with the highest percentage of green commercial space, according to the 2014 Green Building Adoption Index, a joint project of CBRE Group, Inc.(NYSE:CBG) and Maastricht University. San Francisco ranked at number 2 on the list with 67.2% percent of commercial real estate certified as green. The study also finds that across the U.S., green commercial real estate has increased significantly since 2005.

“The fact that San Francisco places so high in our inaugural study of green building adoption is no surprise,” said Dave Pogue, CBRE’s San Jose-based Global Director of Corporate Responsibility and sustainability expert. “The combination of high profile multi- investors interested corporate occupiers, high regulatory standards and an engaged population made this outcome inevitable. The ‘green revolution’ is over…and green has won.”

Minneapolis ranked as the “greenest” city in the nation, where 77.0% of the commercial real estate space is certified as green. Other cities ranking in the top 10 include:

2. San Francisco (67.2%)
3. Chicago (62.1%)
4. Houston (54.8%)
5. Atlanta (54.1%)
6. Los Angeles (49.7%)
7. Denver (49.3%)
8. Seattle (46.6%)
9. Miami (46.0%)
10. Washington D.C. (42.4%)

National findings from the report include:

  • Adoption of all-green standards in the U.S. has increased significantly since 2005. During that time, Energy Star-labeled buildings increased nearly 600%, and the proportion of buildings that are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)certified increased from less than 0.5% in 2005 to 5.0%, a more than 1,000% increase.
  • Measured by floor area, LEED-certified space now totals 19.4% of the total building stock in the 30 office markets reviewed in the project.
  • The Green Building Adoption Index is the first project completed under CBRE’s Real Green Research Challenge (RGRC). Launched in September 2012, the RGRC is CBRE’s US$1million commitment to fund leading-edge sustainability research and innovation in commercial real estate.

Led by Dr. Nils Kok of Maastricht University of the Netherlands in close collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and CBRE, the study quantifies the dynamics of the growing market for green building space in U.S. markets. The study uses Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star and USGBC LEED statistical data from 2005 through 2013 and includes more than 34,000 buildings (totaling more than 3.5 billion square feet) in the central business districts of the top 30 U.S. markets by square footage).

“This is the first study to quantify the relevance of green building practices in the commercial real estate market,” said Dr. Nils Kok, Associate Professor in Finance and Real Estate, Maastricht University. “While we all know examples of LEED-certified buildings, the results presented here are facts based on a robust methodology, not anecdotal evidence. The evidence shows that green has become mainstream in all major U.S. cities.”

Through its RGRC, CBRE is also providing funding and organizational support to sustainability projects developed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Stanford University and the EURO Institute of Real Estate Management as well as a joint project developed by Cleveland State University and Central Michigan University.

To download the full report, please see link in email. For more information about the RGRC,please visit

About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (in terms of 2013 revenue). The Company has approximately 44,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through approximately 350 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting. Please visit our website at

About Maastricht University
The Netherlands Maastricht University is a public university in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Founded in 1976, the university is the second youngest of the 13 Dutch Universities. The Department of Finance at Maastricht University performs research in all fields of finance, with particular interest for: Financial Economics, Econometrical Finance, Real Estate, ESG, and Marketing-Finance. The real estate group of the Finance department is the catalyst for research efforts in three mains areas: real estate investment performance, the economics of energy efficient and “green” building, and the effects of demography on real estate markets. Maastricht University has built a strong reputation in real estate research and education,both for its academic rigor and for its practical relevance.

The department brings together the real estate knowledge of Maastricht University and its academic and industry partners in Europe and beyond. Please visit

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