Paladino and Company States Top Four Reasons to Build a Greener Building

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High performance buildings gaining renewed level of interest in tech hubs like Seattle and Silicon Valley

As Earth Day approaches, Paladino and Company, a green building consulting firm, offers four reasons why building owners and developers should consider high performance commercial spaces and headquarters as a critical growth strategy.

With the commercial real estate market warming up again, owners and developers are expressing renewed interested in building high performance commercial office spaces. In particular, business is heating up in Seattle, Silicon Valley and other tech and digital creative industry hubs where there continues to be increased competition for talent and market share.

“We are seeing renewed interest in building high performance commercial spaces throughout the U.S. particularly in tech hubs like Seattle and the Silicon Valley,” said Brad Pease, Director of Building Science for green building consulting firm Paladino and Company. “In today’s economic climate, companies in highly competitive industries are recognizing that investment in greener buildings can provide long-term business benefits that directly contribute to top and bottom line growth.”

According to Paladino and Company here are four business reasons companies are building greener headquarters and commercial spaces:

1. Increased financial performance: A recent Notre Dame study compared 93 Paladino-client PNC Financial Services’ LEED and 469 non-LEED branches and found deposits - an important metric for retail deposit-based financial institutions - in the company’s LEED bank branches were significantly higher—more than $431,000 per employee. Whether the impact was because the customers enjoyed the space more or because employees were happier and provided better service still needs to be determined. Regardless, it is clear the company’s LEED strategy is providing real top line results and Paladino and Company expects more companies with LEED-certified buildings to perform similar studies over the next 3-5 years to validate sustainability strategies.

2. Improved brand reputation and differentiation: In June 2011, The Green Brands study conducted by WPP companies Cohn & Wolfe, Landor Associates and Penn, Schoen & Berland, found that more than 60 percent of consumers globally want to buy from environmentally responsible companies. According to Paladino and Company, a green building is an excellent place to focus corporate social responsibility because the building artifact is a physical representation of the company’s brand.

3. Enhanced employee attraction and retention: Despite the economy, the best talent has options and more companies are using office space as an attraction and retention tool. Creating a green, healthy workplace that makes employees happy to go to work is an intentional strategy of Google’s and according to a 2011 study from the Charlton College of Business at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, working for an employer that is perceived to be an environmentally-friendly organization positively improved workplace happiness and job satisfaction. Paladino and Company recommends whether building a new headquarters or renovating an old one, consider how the space appeals to employees and view all strategies through a sustainability lens. Current space planning trends like flexible work areas that appeal to mobile workers can be part of an overall green office space story.

4. Reduced operation expenses: Energy and water costs continue to rise and utility spend is a significant part of building operation expenses. Based on internal review of Paladino’s portfolio of buildings it has consulted on, the cost to build green does not have to exceed the cost to build conventionally and even up front green technology investment can often pay for themselves in just a few years by reducing utility bills. Performing life cycle cost analysis during design can help a company determine investment and savings and even quantify benefits such as reduced employee sick days and turnover.

About Paladino and Company
Paladino and Company, Inc. (http://www.paladinoandco.com) is an internationally recognized sustainability and green building consulting firm that helps organizations align business growth with the long term health and vitality of the planet. The firm’s specialized team of architects, engineers, and business analysts work collaboratively with building owners and their teams to create high performance green buildings and companies, resulting in environmentally responsible development and reduced total cost of ownership.

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Michele Brown Ruegg

Maggie Santolla