Atlanta ranks third in the country for ‘green’ buildings

by Rincey Abraham

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Atlanta’s commitment to going green has not gone unnoticed. The city came in as the third-most environmentally friendly city in the 2017 National Green Building Adoption Index.

The report looked at the growth of Energy Star and LEED–certified office spaces since 2005 in the 30 largest cities in the U.S.

Atlanta has ranked in the top 5 of the survey every year, but this is the highest spot it has taken so far. The report found that 55 percent of all space reviewed currently has an Energy Star or LEED certification.

Approximately 24 percent of the city’s buildings have an Energy Star label, which is double the national average and the second-highest market total, only behind Manhattan. The total of LEED-certified buildings currently sits at 26.3 percent, which is also second behind Manhattan.

The study found that 10.3 percent of all buildings surveyed are Energy Star–labeled while 4.7 percent are LEED–certified, which is above last year’s totals. It also found that nine of the top 10 cities have implemented benchmarking ordinances. Those cities have 9 percent more certified buildings and a 21 percent higher certified square footage. Atlanta recently announced it’s goal to run 100 percent on clean energy by 2035.

“While it is still too early to make a definitive correlation between benchmarking ordinances and the rate of growth in ‘green’ buildings, this year’s findings do begin to establish a link that will be studied closely in the future,” said David Pogue, CBRE’s Global Director of Corporate Responsibility.

Atlanta Q4 2014 % of Buildings % sq. ft of Buildings
Total 26.3 55.1
Energy 24.4 48.6
LEED 6.6 20
Existing Buildings 6.3 18.6
New Construction 0.1 0.9
Core and Shell 0.2 0.5