The Fiscal Return of Green Building Incentives to Local Government: Early Evidence

  • Petras T
  • Hultquist A
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Abstract

Recent trends in commercial building have included a movement towards more environ- mentally friendly design and construction. The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program is a leader in developing “green” building standards. To encourage environmentally friendly building initiatives, several local and state government programs provide financial incentives for new build and renovation projects receiving LEED certification. This study investigates whether such government programs’ incentives add value to building projects in terms of increased property values, in addition to any environmental benefits they may produce, thus providing a direct bene- fit to property owners and a public benefit in the form of increased property tax revenues. Data for Seattle,Washington, is analyzed using a hedonicmodel of property values for com- mercial buildings. Results indicate that properties participating in Seattle’s LEEDincentive programexhibit significantly higher appraised property values than comparable properties not receiving incentives.

Author-supplied keywords

  • fiscal return
  • incentives
  • local government

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Authors

  • Tricia L Petras

  • Andy Hultquist

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