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New REIT aims to make investing in sustainable retrofits easier


Green Realty Trust, a new project from real estate investor Rob Hannah, is a new kind of Real Estate Investment Trust, one that hopes to make it easier to bring big money to green building retrofit projects, reports GreenerBuildings.com.

The REIT will be non-publicly-traded, and aims to raise at least $2 million in shares by the end of this year, which will be used to invest in green retrofit projects, a sector that has so far missed much of the limelight aimed at new construction projects.

Renovating an existing building raises more concerns from investors than financing a new construction project, according to a recent article on the Green Realty Trust from the CoStar Group. In addition to a longer-term cost-benefit timeline for energy conservation, many of the points needed for LEED-EB certification are easier to earn in an empty building than an occupied one, resulting in lost rents from tenants displaced during the renovations.

But the market for renovations will soon be booming, regardless of the credit crunch, experts predict. Existing buildings make up 99 percent or more of the country’s office space and are responsible for a significant segment of greenhouse gas emissions, making green retrofits an obvious step in solving the climate crisis.

“Existing commercial buildings in the U.S. account for 60 billion square feet of space,” USGBC board member Tim Cole told the CoStar Group. “If we want to make a difference for the environment, building occupants and our bottom lines, we must get our existing building stock up to peak green performance.”




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