The adoption of green building systems and technologies is now widespread among California’s premier office buildings. As measured by our Green Building Barometer, 54% of Class A office space in the state is now classified as green (defined as either Energy Star or LEED certified). This achievement is a striking improvement over the situation just three years ago, when only 26% of Class A space was certified green.
With the construction of new office buildings at an all time low, the increase in green space largely reflects the upgrading and certification of existing buildings. LEED certification is becoming almost mandatory for Class-A office buildings in the financial districts of the major cities:
- In San Francisco the Transamerica Pyramid recently achieved the highest level of certification with LEED Platinum status.
- In Southern California, the Irvine Company achieved LEED certification for all three of its high rise office towers located in Orange County and San Diego.
- Building codes in the state are now greener, so that where new construction does occur, green certification is now very likely to follow, such as at the Tustin Centre in Orange County.
The adoption of greener operations in commercial buildings is being aided by new tools and technologies that help building owners to go green. For example, in October the City of San Francisco and the Business Council on Climate Change published a Green Tenant Toolkit for commercial buildings. The toolkit uses many of the green leasing tools and strategies developed by the California Sustainability Alliance, and is part of a suite of initiatives that also includes green financing packages and legislative changes designed to encourage greener buildings.