Business / Economy

Beijing and Shanghai surpass major US cities in green space rollout

By Hu Yuanyuan ( Updated: 2015-07-09 17:25

China's green building sector is on a fast track to large-scale development, according to a white paper published by international real estate consultancy CBRE.

Beijing and Shanghai, each with nearly 20 million square meters of green building space, took the top two spots in the ranking of global green buildings, surpassing such cities as Chicago, New York and Washington, according to the document "New Era of China's Green Buildings".

Shenzhen and Wuhan were also among the top 10 cities on the list. The white paper suggested that first-tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai have begun to harvest economic benefits from green buildings which are cost-effective, reducing operating costs and creating higher property value.

"Going green" has increasingly become an important element in corporate social responsibility and employee engagement programs for both multinational corporations and domestic companies. As a result, green building certifications are enabling real estate projects, especially commercial properties, to differentiate from their counterparts in the market. Space that is "green" certified can help landlords attract quality tenants, as it can provide a comfortable and healthy workplace and improve productivity.

Findings indicate that the average office rent of Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design-certified space recorded a premium of between 1.5 percent and 25.7 percent. Research also suggested that LEED-certified projects were proven to be more resilient when the market goes down.

"The cost of transformation into green building is not that high," said Tang Hao, chief marketing officer of Asia Clean Capital (ACC). "Our customers do not need to pay anything but just need to provide the building and coordination".

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