Green Is The New Norm in Office

Jun 27, 2014 9:00 AM ET

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By Brian J. Rogal  

LOS ANGELES—CBRE Group, Inc. recently launched a research project to study green buildings in the US, and its first analysis found that among US cities Minneapolis had the highest percentage of green commercial space, a result that surprised many. 

“Going in, I thought we would find that this was much more of a bicoastal phenomenon,” Dave Pogue, CBRE’s global director of corporate responsibility, tells But 77% of the commercial space in Minneapolis was certified as green. Other top cities include: San Francisco, which came in second with 67.2%; Chicago, which came in third with 62.1%; Houston took fourth place with 54.8%, and Atlanta rounded out the top five at 54.1%.

“Chicago did not surprise me as much,” Pogue adds, even though it is not a coastal city. “This is a first-tier market with a lot of high-profile owners and green-certified buildings also tend to be a big city phenomenon.”

The new study, dubbed the 2014 Green Building Adoption Index, is a joint project of Los Angeles-based CBRE, the US Green Building Council and Maastricht University in the Netherlands. Led by Dr. Nils Kok of Maastricht, researchers combed through Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star and USGBC LEED statistical data from 2005 through 2013. They studied more than 34,000 buildings totaling more than 3.5-billion-square-feet in the CBDs of the top 30 US markets.

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Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.