Agents say the trend, which has until recently been confined to CBD and fringe office buildings, has finally caught on with private investors, who own the majority of suburban offices.
“Historically developers and owners had shied away from green buildings due to concerns about additional building costs, however early indications are that tenants are now prepared to pay a premium,” said Colliers International director Rob Joyes. “(Building owners) have taken on board that in order to be attractive to tenants, they must deliver a more energy efficient building.”
“It’s a case of go green in the suburbs, or go broke.”
Colliers International says there are just three 4.5-star Australian Building Greenhouse Rating graded suburban office buildings under construction in the eastern suburbs including Hawthorn, Mulgrave and Glen Waverley. Other buildings are also under construction at Essendon Fields and University Hill in Bundoora.
Mr Joyes said in the outer south-eastern suburbs, tenants pay a rental premium of about 10 per cent to be in buildings that meet the efficient energy consumption rating.
“Commercial tenants have shown their willingness to be in green buildings and become responsible corporate citizens,” says Stuart Fowler, managing director of construction engineering firm Norman Disney Young. “Because it has been tenant led, developers have come up with compliant and sexy ESD designed buildings in the suburbs.”
“Certainly measuring environmental footprint is an increasingly important aspect of what owners, developers and tenants are doing nowadays,” said Green Building Council executive director David Craven. “We’re noticing lots of small to medium building tenants make conscious efforts to neutralise their carbon footprint over the past twelve months.”