Property Appraisals: ENERGY MATTERS!

In early May, I joined over 900 real estate, facilities, and sustainability professionals in attending the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Alliance Summit to learn about the latest in high-performing and “green” buildings. One of the most interesting sessions was Show Me the Value: Appraising Green, where presenters discussed ways that sustainability and green buildings add value to real estate, and the key role that appraisers and property valuation professionals play in determining that value. It illustrated the rapidly changing landscape of the commercial real estate market, and the emerging importance of a key question, “Are green buildings more valuable?”

Higher property values are one of the most significant and compelling ways in which sustainability and energy efficiency can create value in real estate. It is widely understood that reducing energy consumption can lead to reduced costs, which in turn can increase net operating income (NOI) and facilitate higher asset values. But even far greater impacts can emerge through reduced risks, improved competitive positioning, higher rents, and greater tenant attraction and retention. As fiduciaries, it is our responsibility to understand, quantify, and act on this knowledge on behalf of our clients and investors.

Assessing the exact nature and scale of the “green premium” has proved challenging for the industry. But recent initiatives and research are seeking to bring greater clarity and insight to this issue, and provide new information, training, tools, and resources to enable a more informed assessment of the value of green buildings.

For example, last year the Appraisal Foundation (TAF) and their Appraisal Practices Board (APB) released advisories with voluntary competency guidelines for evaluating energy and building performance when estimating market value. Among other considerations, the advisories specify that appraisers should assess how a local market recognizes green certifications, should be able to review and understand energy modeling reports and projections, and how key sustainability nomenclature such as energy use intensity (EUI) and new property characteristics can describe and contribute to sustainability performance.

Further, the Appraisal Institute — the largest industry association in the appraisal industry — the Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and many other groups are developing new resources meant to educate the marketplace, and cultivate better understanding of the impacts of energy efficiency, sustainability, and high-performance on asset values. Recently, the DOE and CoStar announced a partnership that will result in the first large-scale display of energy ratings and eventually property-level greenhouse gas emissions on real estate listings. Building on this momentum, the DOE has also partnered with Earth Advantage to develop and deliver Energy Matters! New Training for Commercial Building Valuation.

Within Principal Real Estate Investors, we are engaging with and monitoring these initiatives, as well as ensuring that our own internal team has the latest information and knowledge to guide our real estate decisions. We recognize that this is an emerging topic, and an important one for our investors and clients. After all, investment performance is directly related to a property’s value, and I am encouraged by these industry efforts to better understand and quantify this relationship. Through these initiatives and our work, we will continue to strive to be at the forefront of understanding – and capturing – the value of green buildings. Energy really does matter!

 

Follow Principal Global Investors on LinkedIn

The information in this document has been derived from sources believed to be accurate as of June 2016. Information derived from sources other than Principal Global Investors or its affiliates is believed to be reliable; however, we do not independently verify or guarantee its accuracy or validity. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance and should not be relied upon as a significant basis for an investment decision.

The information in this document contains general information only on investment matters. It does not take account of any investor’s investment objectives, particular needs or financial situation and should not be construed as specific investment advice, an opinion or recommendation or be relied on in any way as a forecast or guarantee of future events regarding a particular investment or the markets in general. All expressions of opinion and predictions in this document are subject to change without notice. Any reference to a specific investment or security does not constitute a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold such investment or security, nor an indication that Principal Global Investors or its affiliates has recommended a specific security for any client account.

Principal Financial Group, Inc., Its affiliates, and its officers, directors, employees, agents,  disclaim any express or implied warranty of reliability or accuracy (including by reason of negligence) arising out of any for error or omission in this document or in the information or data provided in this document.

Third party content, such as comments to this blog, is not reviewed by Principal Global Investors before it is displayed, although we may remove, alter, edit or adapt any such comments. Principal Global Investors does not endorse, authorize, or sponsor any third party content.  Links contained in some blog posts may take you to third-party sites and Principal Global Investors makes no guarantees to the accuracy of the information provided.