New construction gives builders the opportunity to use current technology so they can build green buildings. Wondering what “green buildings” are? Or what’s involved in LEED – the most popular certification for green buildings in the world? Want to know how LEED impacts Boston Area real estate? If so, read on!

BOSTON and Energy Efficiency

We recently discussed ways in which you, as a homeowner, can save energy and money in older homes. We also mentioned that the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) rated Boston as the most energy-efficient city in the country. This high rating is due to the focus in Boston on retrofitting old homes for energy efficiency, and even more so, on new green building construction.. 

LEED

The energy efficiency of buildings – and their environmental impact – is most frequently measured by LEED certification. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was developed by a non-profit U.S. organization. Their certification includes a set of rating systems for the “design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes, and neighborhoods” LINK???   It is intended to help building owners and building operators be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently.

In order to become certified, a building must get an independent evaluation by an architect who is LEED accredited.  Of course, a building is not likely to get a high enough score to be certified unless the builder has worked with an architect who is accredited, or at least familiar with the LEED systems.  

LEED Properties in the Boston Area

When a property is LEED certified, it will invariably show up as such in the MLS property description.  As of October 5, 2019, there are 8 single family homes and 31 condos on the market in the Greater Boston Area that are LEED certified.  This, out of a total of 13,000+ properties for sale. In the previous 12 months, 46 properties sold that were LEED certified.

 

These modest residential statistics are bolstered by large commercial buildings – including hotels and offices – that are LEED certified. One building that is considered a “star” in this area is  Atlantic Wharf in the Waterfront District, which has both commercial and residential spaces. They  feature Energy Star-rated appliances, super-efficient LED lighting and recycled building materials. The building has been awarded the top LEED certification – Platinum.  It is considered Boston’s first “green” skyscraper, and uses approximately 30 percent less energy than other similar buildings in the city.

LEED Impact on Homeowners

1. Energy Cost Savings

The desire to reduce energy costs is a very old story.  What’s new is the extent to which recent technology enables increased savings. The 30 percent saving that Atlantic Wharf is experiencing provides an impressive benchmark.  

2. Environmental Responsibility

Reducing energy usage not only reduces operating costs – it also reduces the carbon footprint. In addition to energy usage, LEED evaluates the type and quantity of wastes produced.  All this adds up to an improvement in the impact on the environment of building these buildings and living in them going forward.

3. Real Estate Values

A third benefit appears to be an increase in the resale value of your green or LEED certified property.  An independent statistical analysis by scientists at ResearchGate looked at nine countries throughout the world.  They found that the resale value of green buildings tends to be approximately 5 – 8% higher than comparable buildings that are not green.

 

In Summary…

Call it what you will: energy efficiency, environmental responsibility, green buildings, LEED certified (or any other certification/rating you prefer).  Clearly it is a win:win:win. It saves money right away, it saves the environment for the future, and it brings property a higher resale value.

If you need real estate assistance, contact Chris Kostopoulos at 857-829-0282 or Chris@Isellmass.com.  Chris is not only committed to bringing you information about living better in your home, he is also committed to giving the highest quality help to buyers and sellers.

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