CoStar Partnership Helps Businesses Choose High Performing Buildings

Going green in your building is about to become business as usual. Have you ever wondered how energy efficient the building is where you live, work, or shop? Over the past few years it has gotten a lot easier to find this out thanks to local laws in cities like Chicago, Atlanta, and Washington, DC that require owners of large buildings to track their energy use and disclose it on a public website. The challenge is that most businesses and real estate brokers aren’t looking at those city websites when they’re making a real estate transaction, like leasing new office space or buying a building. By living outside of the normal real estate transaction process, energy performance information isn’t easily incorporated into decision-making.

That is all about to change thanks to a recent announcement of a new partnership between the Department of Energy and the CoStar Group, which is the leading provider of commercial real estate information and analytics on over 100 billion square feet of property. Ask any commercial real estate broker and they’ll say that the information included in the CoStar databases is their primary source of data during the real estate search process. For years, CoStar has been including “green labels” in listings when buildings have earned ENERGY STAR recognition or LEED certification. Now, the listings will go even deeper by funneling information directly from local energy transparency laws into the CoStar database.

Soon, for all buildings covered by energy transparency laws, users will be able to see the buildings’ ENERGY STAR scores, source energy use intensity, and annual greenhouse gas emissions—good or bad. This will help businesses and tenants looking for low energy costs, high performance, and sustainability to identify space more easily. It’s as simple as asking your broker to look for buildings that meet your energy criteria, in the same way that you can already specify other characteristics like size, cost, or location. That level of effortlessness in meeting the needs of clients is the new ‘business as usual.’

The CoStar platform will start publishing energy metrics for buildings covered by Chicago and Washington, DC’s energy transparency ordinances within a few months. The partnership agreement also specifies that CoStar and DOE will undertake new research around valuation, operating expenses, and occupant health, comfort, and productivity so that the market and policies can work synchronously to improve building performance. American buildings consume 40 percent of our nation’s energy—and heating, cooling, and powering those buildings can contribute as much as 75 percent of a city’s harmful greenhouse gas pollution. By integrating building performance data into the CoStar platform, businesses, tenants, and investors are able to make smarter, more sustainable real estate decisions, and that is how we can transform our built environment.

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