As the commercial real estate market trends more towards green initiatives, some may find those initiatives costly and over-reaching. However, while upfront costs may be higher, long-term thoughtful design can offer significant benefits to developers.
Do I have to pursue green development?
California is a state with environmental difficulties to such an extent that the Attorney General’s office has dedicated information to future possibilities. With a high level of government recognition of oncoming problems, new builds will certainly face greater regulatory requirements.
Leaving aside the legal considerations, the greatest benefits to green design are to a developer’s bottom line. Green initiatives can:
- Extend the useable lifetime of a building
- Decrease overall maintenance costs
- Decrease overall energy costs
- Increased marketability
Green developments will only become more attractive in the future. We mentioned in a recent series that California has a large number of unsold homes. Empty commercial properties, while less prevalent, can still happen. Hedging your investments with green techniques is a sensible strategy.
What about existing structures?
With an existing structure, you may or may not have to update certain features to match code, depending on various factors. If you did decide that code updates were a sensible, achievable goal for your property, you have available options. However, the right strategy for updating an existing structure is a calculation that must account for current regulation and prospective changes in the future.
Updates are a good thing for your building, but not taking steps that can last may undermine the longevity of your investment.
How to make the right choices?
There is no perfect way to ensure that your choices are timely and lasting. However, you can consult with an attorney with a Green Designation from the National Association of Realtors. This special designation connotes a level of understanding and experience that allows a firm to stand out.