Correlation does not Imply Causation

| August 8, 2011 | 0 Comments

An article in The Registry today covers a recent report on vacancy rates for LEED-certified buildings in the Bay Area. The study concludes that vacancy rates for LEED buildings are notably lower than market averages, and significantly so in some markets. A few anomalous results–notably San Francisco, where vacancies are actually a bit higher in LEED certified buildings.

I’m an advocate for Green building and LEED standards, but I think that this study is missing the mark. Up and down the Peninsula, vacancy rates for Class A properties are substantially lower than for second-tier buildings (odd anomalies such as Palo Alto break this rule, but I dont think that building classifications hold up all that well there). Simply put, LEED certified buildings are much more likely to be newer construction and, therefore, considered Class A.

I think that the market will start to demand Green buildings going forward as tenants seek out lower energy costs– and, as an aside, I’d like to see more emphasis placed in LEED certification on energy conservation over some location-based items. I’m not sure we’re quite there yet.

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