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The Ziggurat

The Conversation Around Implementing Green Certification (VIDEO) 

“It’s about the money: are they going to recoup their investment in the long run.” That’s the start of the conversation that building owners and investors have when it comes to green certification, says Chris Corsten, sustainability consultant with EBI Consulting.  

The gains—which may include lower energy costs or higher rents—are hard to quantify, although certifying bodies do assert that they exist. That being said, Corsten says there’s increasing pressure to design or retrofit buildings in accordance with certification programs. 

In a recent webinar, “LEED Feasibility + Analysis in 2023 and Beyond,” Corsten and David Burge, project manager at MarketOne Builders in Sacramento, discuss green certification with Emily Fu, East Coast content director at Connect CRE. They use the retrofit of the Ziggurat Building, an office property in West Sacramento, as a case study. 

The five-year LEED certification project at the Ziggurat Building cost MarketOne about 21 cents per square foot to implement, says Burge. However, in an increasingly common situation, the driver behind the certification was the lessee—in this case, the State of California. 

LEED is among the more “onerous” certifications to meet, Corsten says. As a result, some EBI Consulting clients seek more economical alternatives. Fitwell and IREM Certified Sustainable Property certification are two examples, while BOMA 360 is another. 

Although senior management tended to take the lead on certification decisions in the past, today it’s often the younger generation leading the charge. For example, younger engineers are becoming quite involved with designing building systems to meet sustainability criteria, Corsten says. “They’re not just thinking about how a building is now, but how it needs to be” in the future. 

Click here to access replays of the webinar. 

Pictured: The Ziggurat Building.


Inside The Story

EBI Consulting

About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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