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Benefits of Green Building

Recent studies (World Green Building Trends, by Dodge Data and Analytics, 2016), including South African facilities, have once again confirmed the Benefits of Green Building, which include:

  • Increases in asset value of up to 7%
  • Annual operational cost savings of up to 14%
  • Increase in staff productivity of up to 20%


The above main benefits of green building, coupled with robust environmental regulations and a strong increase in Client demand for green building has led to the determination by recent studies that green building is accelerating globally with green building forecast to double every three years!

Top triggers for Green Building

(All respondents)


Top triggers driving future Green Building activity in South Africa


Environmentally-friendly buildings have lower operating costs, are more efficient, future proof, provide a higher rate of return and have been shown to promote wellness, healing and productivity. What are some of the main areas and benefits of green building?

Lower Operating Costs

  • Research reveals that Green Star SA Rated buildings enjoy energy savings of between 25% and 50% compared to buildings designed to SANS 204 standards.
  • The payback periods of energy and water saving practices are becoming much shorter as a result of increasing utility costs and the wider availability of more affordable green building technology.

Higher Returns on Assets

  • Extensive studies have shown rental rates in green buildings to be approximately 6% higher than non-green buildings.

Increased Property Values

  • Decreased operating costs (up to 14%), lease premiums and more competitive, less risky, future-proofed buildings contribute to the value of green buildings.
  • Valuation premiums have been empirically proven to be up to 12% over non-green buildings, with a median of 7% being recently reported.

Enhanced Marketability

  • Green building creates a differentiated product in the market, which is viewed as technologically advanced and environmentally and socially responsible.
  • These attributes are positively linked to the company brand and image of the owner and/or the tenant.

Reduced Liability and Risk

  • Green buildings are future-proofed against increases in utility costs, potential energy and water supply problems, tightening legislation, carbon taxes and the impact of mandatory energy efficiency disclosure, as well as costly retrofits or even obsolescence.

Retaining Government and other Major Tenants

  • The Department of Public Works’ planned ‘Green Building Framework’ is likely to include certain green building requirements for government accommodation.
  • This will increasingly apply to large multi-national tenants too.

Responsible Investing

  • Investment in green building is an integral part of the worldwide trend to more responsible, sustainable and ethical investing.

Increased Productivity

  • Improved Internal Environment Quality from increased ventilation, temperature and lighting control, the use of natural light and the absence of toxic materials result in the improved health, comfort and wellbeing of building occupants.
  • This has been shown to increase productivity – always a significant factor in the profitability of a business.
  • Studies show improvements in productivity of up to 20%, which easily covers any premium paid for higher quality green space.

Attracting and Retaining Talent

  • Skilled staff members are hard to attract and retain. However, educated people, particularly younger graduates, are increasingly aware of sustainability and wellness issues and consequently, may be more attracted to working in a green environment.

Minimising Churn

  • With increased comfort and occupant satisfaction and more flexible spaces, green buildings can minimise the costs and impact of churn.
  • With lease terms in South Africa typically ranging between 3 and 5 years, churn represents a significant cost to businesses.

Combat climate change

  • Green building practices can have a significant impact on combating climate change and help to create truly sustainable communities.

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