CBRE Selects Recipients in Real Green Research Challenge

Dave Pogue, of CBRE

Dave Pogue, of CBRE

CBRE Group Inc. has selected five recipients in its Real Green Research Challenge, a $1 million program launched in December 2012 to fund cutting-edge sustainability research and innovation in commercial real estate. The participants in the program will each receive awards of up to $250,000 to conduct research projects.

The five recipient institutions are Stanford University; EURO Institute of Real Estate Management; Cleveland State University and Central Michigan University; Maastricht University; and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

There was no lack of interest in RGRC; CBRE received more than 100 submissions. “The overwhelming response to CBRE’s Real Green Research Challenge underscored our perception that researchers and academics in sustainable commercial real estate are significantly underserved,” Dave Pogue, CBRE’s Global Director of Corporate Responsibility,” told Commercial Property Executive. “While funding is an important part of the RGRC, most submissions sought to leverage CBRE’s data and people resources, and our ability to deliver solutions to the market.”

Stanford University’s Center for Integrated Facility Engineering is among the winners. The center will conduct an in-depth evaluation of EPA Energy Star energy management strategies allowing facilities and property managers to prioritize energy efficiency projects.

EURO Institute of Real Estate Management will receive funding for a comprehensive economic analysis of the value implications of green building practices on large institutional real estate portfolios.

Cleveland State University and Central Michigan University submitted a winning proposal. The team will utilize the funding for a new industry-wide, regionally sensitive, green building scoring protocol system to inform U.S. office tenants’ leasing decisions and developers’ sustainable building choices.

Maastricht University plans to develop a quarterly green building index of the top 30 U.S. metro markets, yielding insights for policy makers, developers and other stakeholders, and supporting lenders’ risk management analysis and investors’ decisions.

The Natural Resources Defense Council’s Center for Market Innovation rounds out the group of recipients. NRDC’s project addresses the fact that commercial buildings account for a whopping 41 percent of energy consumption and 40 percent of carbon pollution in the U.S. The organization has partnered with New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress on its RGRC project, which involves the launching of its Tenant Recognition Initiative. The team will begin the initiative by surveying CBRE tenants and providing them with an assessment of their energy performance and where it stands compared to that of their peers.

Yerina Mugica, of

Yerina Mugica, of NRDC

“The first step in reducing energy consumption in tenant and all spaces is knowing how much energy they are using and how that compares to the industry average and/or best performers,” Yerina Mugica, associate director at NRDC, told CPE. “But tenants often don’t have access to their own energy consumption data. Without access to that information, and without having a stake in the savings from reduced energy bills, it’s often more challenging to get efficiency measures in place. Our project will highlight the value of having access to this information and will spur tenants and landlords to work together to identify energy saving strategies that benefit both of them.”

CBRE will award the RGRC funds over the next four years. “We anticipate that the RGRC will empower academics to become pioneers, clearing the way for groundbreaking results through a truly collaborative process,” CBRE’s Pogue said.