(go to previous page) (go to beginning)
Another proactive step is to include energy or green-building due diligence when making future purchase decisions. Buyers can consult a reputable due-diligence consultant with experience in energy-auditing and sustainability services. The American Society of Testing and Materials is developing a standard practice for conducting due diligence on buildings' energy performance. A draft form is expected this year.
Most large U.S. banks also now recognize the importance of tracking energy and sustainability within their loan portfolios and in their business practices. Many have recently created positions such as "director of sustainability" or "corporate sustainability officer." Some also are beginning to evaluate their loan portfolios in light of proposed federal carbon cap-and-trade legislation to determine their exposure and risk.
Future loan underwriting may account for a property's energy-efficiency, giving preferable ratings to green buildings. As an example, the commercial green-building underwriting standard is now available from the American National Standards Institute.
Ultimately, improving their commercial buildings' energy-efficiency likely will give property-owners a market advantage. Decreased energy usage can contribute to increased value over time, whereas excessive energy use may cause below-market growth in rents, which can affect a property's pro forma, valuation and eventual financing. Further, it may be harder to find tenants for less energy-efficient buildings, especially those with triple-net leases. In the future, demand likely will decrease for outdated, less-efficient buildings.
Commercial mortgage brokers and other real estate professionals should expect emphasis to soon be placed on a building's energy-efficiency during loan underwriting, as lenders may ultimately use it as they evaluate the asset's value. This practice may not gain full traction until after the current markets and economy stabilize. But it likely will be in place by the time commercial real estate values begin to climb.
is senior vice president of EBI Consulting. He is responsible for client management and new business development in the Western region. Joshua Lehman is a sustainability consultant at EBI Consulting, where he manages energy-efficiency services. He has worked to increase real estate market awareness of energy efficiency and reduce buildings' environmental impact. Reach Spinogatti at (602) 740-9996 or firstname.lastname@example.org; reach Lehman at email@example.com. Visit the company's Web site at www.ebiconsulting.com.
Page: 1 2 3 Previous