Sacramento has for years outperformed much larger cities when it comes to green building construction, thanks mainly to the eco-conscious policies of state government.
Now the green trend has engulfed the private office market as well. Developers in Sacramento — and nationwide — are using sustainability as a key marketing tool in their effort to attract tenants. It's one more selling point in a real estate climate with vacancy rates well into the double digits.
Altogether, nearly 100 commercial and institutional buildings in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado and Yolo counties now meet either the "Energy Star" standards established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards of the U.S. Green Building Council, which designates buildings "silver," "gold" or "platinum."
About a third of the region's estimated 26 LEED-certified commercial buildings are now privately owned, according to the Green Building Council.
Chris Mullins, a Sacramento LEED consultant with Portland, Ore.-based Brightworks, expects that share to grow, even in a rough economy. "If you have to pay $96,000 to get certified to get a tenant," he said, "that's the best $96,000 an owner ever spent."
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