Share: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn I recommend visiting to read:%0A%0A {0} %0A%0A {1}

​​Obtaining Sustainable Building Certifications​

Kathryn Scrimizzi • 6/22/2023



Achieving a sustainable building certification comes with a variety of benefits to building owners, managers, occupiers and the planet. The following examples are some of many that highlight the business case for certifying: 

  • Tax Incentives: Many incentives are currently specific to local and state governments; however, the IRA offers unprecedented tax incentives that can cover up to 30% of costs. Some of these incentives are based on energy savings and reaching a certain level of certification. For example, a multifamily complex can receive $2,500 - $5,000 for achieving ENERGY STAR® certification.
  • Increased Sales and Lease Rates: Certifications provide third-party validation of a building’s commitment to sustainability and the health and wellbeing of its tenants. Sustainable building certifications can justify a higher price tag with studies showing that sustainable certifications yield a rent premium of 6% and a sales premium of 7.6%. Additionally, properties with certifications centered around health and wellbeing include effective rents that transact between 4.4% and 7.7% more per square foot than their nearby non-certified peers. 
  • Contribute to Voluntary Disclosure Frameworks: Some certifications can help earn GRESB points which recognizes that a property is meeting a certain standard of ESG performance. “GRESB Scores are increasingly viewed by investors as an indication of their investments ESG performance. GRESB has seen an 89% increase in participants since 2019.” 2022 Real Estate Assessment Results - GRESB. The 2022 GRESB Real Estate Reference Guide lists around 90 design and/or construction schemes and a further 90 operational green building certification schemes.
  • Cost-Efficiency: Improving the resource-efficiency of buildings has a direct correlation to cost reductions in operating expenses. Certifications such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) look at building performance optimization in areas such as energy, carbon emissions, water, air quality and waste. Tracking these metrics can promote more efficient use of resources, substantially reduce emissions, and achieve cost savings. 

When owners and managers couple cost savings from lower utility usage with increased rents, a building certification can be an investment that maximizes value across the board. 


Green Building Certifications 

  • Green building certifications: LEED, BREEAM, Energy Star, Green Globes, etc. 
  • Green building certifications affirm that individual assets are designed and/or operated in ways that are consistent with independently developed sustainability criteria. Green building certifications provide benefits for occupants, society, and the environment. Additionally, these certifications serve as an additional layer of transparency and accountability to inform investors and occupiers on the ESG performance of an asset.

Health and Wellness Certifications

  • Healthy building certifications: Fitwel, WELL, RESET, etc.
  • While human health is considered in green building certifications, it is not the primary focus. This is changing as the industry shifts its focus to the impact that buildings have on human health and well-being. People spend an overwhelming majority of their time indoors, so factors of our built environment such as access to daylight, opportunities for mental relief and physical movement, and availability of nutritional food options have direct impacts on our physical, mental, and emotional health as well as overall productivity in the workplace. 


There are a variety of factors that can influence which building certifications are best suited for your building(s): 

  • Location: Ensuring your building/s include appropriate infrastructure to support alternative modes of transportation and offering amenities on-site to support pedestrians and cyclists can better position you to achieve a sustainable building certification. 
  • Energy and Water Use: Green building certifications such as LEED and BREEAM track key building metrics like energy, water, and waste. In some instances, such as LEED v4 O+M, there are minimum point requirements tied to your building’s energy performance in order to pursue certification. Engage with C&W’s Energy & Sustainability Team to conduct an analysis of whether your building/s meet any performance-related requirements.  
Want to learn more?
Connect with us to learn more about sustainable building certifications or questions about ESG.
Learn More


Prepare your real estate portfolio for the challenges ahead by partnering with Cushman & Wakefield’s Energy & Sustainability team.

Related Insights

how to green the brown
Insights • Sustainability / ESG

How to Green the Brown

Most buildings around the world were not designed and constructed with sustainability in mind. The vast majority of commercial properties are ageing, brownfield structures needing an urgent uplift in green credentials. Find out how you can embark on the journey from brown to green.
Matt Clifford • 6/19/2023
Article • Sustainability / ESG

​​BEPS Compliance Planning Guide​

Cushman & Wakefield is here to provide assistance reviewing individual assets and portfolios to establish current energy use and performance, as well as develop a focused roadmap for compliance with this ordinance going forward. 
Sustainability (image)
Research • Sustainability / ESG

Sustainability Matters in Commercial Real Estate

Cushman & Wakefield is committed to a sustainable future, achieving a balance between environmental, technological, economic and social objectives.

Interested in learning more?

Get in touch and we can assist with any additional information you need.

With your permission we and our partners would like to use cookies in order to access and record information and process personal data, such as unique identifiers and standard information sent by a device to ensure our website performs as expected, to develop and improve our products, and for advertising and insight purposes.

Alternatively click on More Options and select your preferences before providing or refusing consent. Some processing of your personal data may not require your consent, but you have a right to object to such processing.

You can change your preferences at any time by returning to this site or clicking on  Cookies

More Options
Agree and Close
These cookies ensure that our website performs as expected,for example website traffic load is balanced across our servers to prevent our website from crashing during particularly high usage.
These cookies allow our website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) and provide enhanced features. These cookies do not gather any information about you that could be used for advertising or remember where you have been on the internet.
These cookies allow us to work with our marketing partners to understand which ads or links you have clicked on before arriving on our website or to help us make our advertising more relevant to you.
Agree All
Reject All