With green building on the hearts and minds of many American businesses and business people, the market for green commercial real estate still finds a place, despite the current economic recession. 


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.

“Businesses benefit when buildings are built sustainably – operating costs decrease, payback periods are shorter and asset values can increase. It’s important to note that healthier indoor environments are just as much of a motivator for sustainable building, too.” (Buildings, May 1, 2019)  E


Commercial Building Electricity Reduction
  • Green buildings consume less energy and fewer resources. Standard building practices use and waste millions of tons of materials each year; green building uses fewer resources and minimizes waste (United States Green Building Council, May 24, 2019)
  • Total energy consumption for all commercial buildings in 2012 — 4,241 trillion Btu (Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey, United States Energy Information Administration, May 2016)

Sustainability Information From the National Association of REALTORS®

Nineteen percent of respondents reported that their Commercial Information Exchange (CIE) had green data fields, and the CIE green data fields were used to promote energy information and green features. A majority of agents and brokers (74 percent) said that energy efficiency promotion in listings was very or somewhat valuable.

REALTORS® & Sustainability Report (National Association of REALTORS®, Apr. 2020, p. 24)

What Is a Gree​n Building​?

Going ‘Deep Green,’ Office Buildings Give Back to the Planet (The New York Times, Jul. 14, 2020)

Sustainability Checklist for Buildings (Buildings, Jul. 1, 2020) E

Green Building Gains Territory (Commercial Property Executive, Jun. 18, 2020)

Greener Buildings are Part of a More Sustainable Future (Facilities Net, Apr. 22, 2020)

Commercial Buildings Need to Go Green (Treehugger, Feb. 3, 2020)

The Green Building​​s Market

Debunking the Myth of Green Unaffordability (Forbes, Mar. 24, 2020)

Sustainability & Commercial Real Estate Investment (Utah Property Investors, Mar. 11, 2020)

Meeting the Demand for Greener Commercial Buildings (Boss Magazine, Jun. 24, 2019)

How Cities are Driving Growth in the Green Roofing Market (ThomasNet, Feb. 12, 2019)

Converting Existing ​Buildings to Green

The Right "Fit": New Research Shows Certain Factors Can Influence the Success of an Energy Retrofit (School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, University of Maryland, Aug, 21, 2020)

Adaptive Reuse: A Guide for Aspiring Developers (Millionacres, Jul. 22, 2020)

How to Make Old Buildings Green (And 5 Cities Doing It) (Green Building Insider, Apr. 2, 2020)

Guide to Making Your Building Eco-Friendly (Green Business Council, Nov. 4, 2019)

Here's How NYC Is Trying To Shrink Buildings' Big Carbon Footprints (Gothamist, Sep. 19, 2019)

Why Investors are Looking to Retrofitting to Future-Proof Assets (The Investor JLL, Aug. 29, 2019)

No Matter the Property Type, It Pays to Invest in Energy Efficiency (Commercial Property Executive, Jul. 23, 2019)

Are You a Quitter or a Retrofitter? (Urban Green Council, Jun. 26, 2019)

Smart Building Retrofits… What’s Holding You Back? (Facility Executive, Apr. 1, 2019)

Green Building T​ren​ds & Case Studies

Green Roofs or Green Buildings? (Tech Xplore, Jul. 29, 2020)

Why Green Leases Will Bloom After the Pandemic (Commercial Property Executive, Jul. 16, 2020)

Energy-Efficient and Green Strategies to Increase Value of Class B/C Buildings (BOMA 2020) (Buildings, Jul. 9, 2020)

Trend: Commercial Buildings Go All-Electric (GreenBiz, Mar. 2, 2020)

New Energy Trends for Green Buildings in 2019 (The Green Building Research Institute, Jul. 24, 2019)

As Mass Timber Takes Off, How Green is This New Building Material? (GreenBiz, May 21, 2019)

Green Buildings (Visit Pittsburgh, Mar. 19, 2019)

Green Building C​​ertifications

Green Building Gains Territory (Commercial Property Executive, Jun. 18, 2020)

Top 11 Green Building Certifications That Can Increase Your Property’s Marketability (SharpLaunch, Oct. 3, 2019)

When Office Buildings Go Beyond Green (The New York Times, Apr. 23, 2019)

Green Certifications: What Options Are Available And Why Do They Matter? (Cyclone Energy Group, Mar. 28, 2019)

BOMA 360 Performance Program (Building Owners and Management Association International, 2019)

LEED Rating System (U.S. Green Building Council, 2020)

LEED Zero (U.S. Green Building Council, 2020)

Green Commercial Finance

How PACE Loans Work (The Balance, Jul. 31, 2020)

Kimco Realty Debuts Green Debt as It Boosts Focus on ESG Issues (Bloomberg.com, Jul. 7, 2020) E

Q&A: The Power of Green Financing (Commercial Property Executive, Dec. 5, 2019)

To Meet Demand for Green Buildings, Developers Get a Leg Up (The New York Times, Aug. 27, 2019)

The Case for a US Federal Green Bank (ClimateWorks Foundation, Jul. 18, 2019)

Freddie Mac Multifamily Green Bond Framework (Freddie Mac, Jun. 6, 2019)

An Overview of Green Finance (National Law Review, Jun. 4, 2019)

Green Bond (Investopedia, Mar. 9, 2020)

Useful ​We​bsites

Penn State Center for Green Roof Research — The Center, the only location in North America with small test green roofs on replicated buildings, characterizes and quantifies the performance of green roofs and promotes their discoveries through education and outreach.

Building Green — Our focus is on helping you design and build from a whole-systems perspective. We support teams that use an integrative process that reduces ecological impact—or even provides regenerative support for ecosystems—and that maximizes return on investment, both financially and in benefits to occupants.

ENERGY STAR Commercial Buildings — When you achieve Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR, you get access to a suite of marketing materials to help you distinguish your building as designed to be a top energy performer … meaning it will use less energy, cost less to operate, and generate fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a similar building.

Greenroofs.com — Updated daily, Greenroofs.com is a dynamic interactive website, online media company, vibrant social network, and comprehensive resource Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture promoting People, Projects & Solutions.

U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC) — The USBGC, the leading organization for green building in the U.S., administers the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System®. Their website features information on LEED certification, publications, information on workshops and other events, and more.

To search the U.S. Green Building Council’s membership community of over 12,000 business, organizations, and government offices that support green design, check out their Organizations Directory.

World Green Building Council — Green Building Councils are independent, non-profit organisations made up of businesses and organisations working in the building and construction industry. As members of WorldGBC, they work to advance green building in their own countries, as well as uniting with other Green Building Councils to achieve environmental, economic and social goals on a larger, global scale.

Green Building Initiative — A 501c3 nonprofit organization, the GBI is dedicated to accelerating the adoption of building practices that result in energy-efficient, healthier and environmentally sustainable buildings.

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Green Building Through Integrated Design (Kindle, eBook)

Green Buildings A to Z (Kindle, eBook)

How to Design and Build a Green Office Building (Kindle, eBook)

Land Use Law for Sustainable Development (eBook)

Retrofitting Office Buildings to Be Green and Energy-Efficient (Kindle, eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Real Estate (Abingdon, Oxford: Routledge, 2018) HD1390 .R684 2018

The Green Building Revolution (Washington: Island Press, 2008) TH880 .Y634 2008

The Philosophy of Sustainable Design: The Future of Architecture (Kansas City, MO: Ecotone Publishing, 2004) NA 2542 M35

Green Buildings Pay (London: Spon Press, 2003) NA 2542 G72

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The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.