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Investing In Environment-Friendly Buildings- The Latest Trend

Aug 18, 2007
Environment friendly buildings seem to be the latest trend in corporate America. This holds true especially in many of the corporate offices that are being set up and is also in demand compared to other buildings. The environment friendly buildings are commonly referred to as the Greens or Green Buildings.

A few big companies operating from these green buildings include Goldman Sachs, Hearst, IBM Corp. JP Morgan Chase and Toyota Motor. Taking this trend to newer heights is the Bank of America. They plan to build a 52-story eco skyscraper near Times Square. Accenture is also an active participant in this trend and has set up green office spaces, which are let out on lease all over the country.

Sustainable construction (referring to the construction of environment friendly buildings) is one of the fastest growing industries. Many of the new construction companies that are coming up and many existing construction companies are getting themselves certified by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Most of the constructions nowadays are environment friendly and soon much commercial construction will be made green.

Developers also realize the potential in the existing constructions and are renovating these properties and making them eco friendly, if not completely at least partially. The green buildings help to save a significant amount in terms of funds spent on utility. They use less energy and water as compared to the traditional buildings. This becomes very cost effective for benefits both, the environment and the builders.

An added reason for the popularity of green buildings is the higher rent they receive. The fact that a building is environment friendly helps to increase the rent up to 3% on an average. These buildings also increase the value of the property by about 7.5%. They are not only cost effective but also help you to make more profit out of the building.

The sustainable materials available keep improving with technology, being cheaper and readily available for use. The materials used also improve in terms of quality and quantity. This is very profitable to investors. So how can the investors get their hands in on this money? The simplest option available is the Real Estate Investment Trust or REIT. There are many trusts available from which you can choose and these trusts have commitments not only towards renovating existing projects but also new constructions. They continue to add new projects to their investments, as and when they fulfill existing commitments.

The trusts believe that the green buildings will continue to grow even if there is a dip in the commercial real-estate market. The best option for investors who are not so sure of the longevity of this boom in commercial eco-real-estate is the Spectra Green Fund. This fund invests a percentage in the REIT, along with the various other clean energy stocks. This is now a safe bet for the cautious investors.

Another investment option available is to invest in the companies that produce the materials for the construction of the green buildings, the companies that measure the energy produced etc.
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