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 a password.

“For many CEOs, sustainable buildings have moved far beyond feel-good status. Plainly put, they're just good business. They help control energy costs, protect and enhance brand reputation, demonstrate prudent management to investors and lenders, attract and satisfy tenants and employees, and hedge against future regulation.” (Green Buildings, Canadian Business, Sept. 2011) E


  • 2% of NAR commercial members maintain membership with U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) (NAR 2016 Commercial Member Profile)
  • Green buildings consume less energy and fewer resources: - LEED Projects are responsible for diverting over 80 million tons of waste from landfills, which is expected to grow to 540 million tons of waster diversion by 2030.
  • Buildings represent 73% of U.S. electricity consumption

What Is a Gree​n Building​?

Green Building Guiding Principles, (Green Buildings Solutions, Aug. 20, 2016)

Report: Commercial Projects Leading Green Building Charge, (Proud Green Building, Nov. 21, 2015)

What is Green Building?, (Green Living Ideas, Oct. 30, 2015)

The Impact of Green Buildings on Cognitive Function, (Harvard School of Public Health, Oct. 26, 2015)

The Importance of Commercial Real Estate Sustainability, (NYREJ, May 2013)

Definition of Green Building, (The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

What is Green Building?, (Green Resource Council)

Green Building Topic Page, (The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Building Green, (The American City & Country, Mar. 2011) E

The Green Building​​s Market

Green Building Materials Market Size Worth $364.6 Billion By 2022, (grandviewresearch, Mar. 2018)

Net Zero Buildings = the Future of the Commercial Market, (Green Building Elements, Sept. 30, 2014)

Real Estate Pros Strive to Explain Building Energy Performance, (Green Biz, Aug. 28, 2014)

Investors Fueling Hike in Green Valuation, (Real Estate Weekly, Aug. 11, 2014)

To Capture Green Value, We Need a Long Perspective, (GreenBuildingAdvisor, Dec. 13, 2011)

Converting Existing ​Buildings to Green

Retrofitting Fever Goes for the Green, (The Boss Magazine, June 30, 2016)

Are Green Retrofits the Future of Construction?, (For Construction Pros Blog, May 18, 2016)

Old Buildings are U.S. Cities’ Biggest Sustainability Challenge, (Harvard Business Review, Jan. 21, 2016)

Retrofitting Buildings to Improve Energy Efficiency, (Alternative Energy Magazine, Apr. 30, 2015)

Alternative Mounting Options for SOLAR, (Buildings, Sept. 2012) E

Insurance Cover Often Falls Short for Green Projects: Evolving Liabilities Not Always Covered by Available Policies, (Business Insurance, Jul. 2012) E

Green Building T​ren​ds & Case Studies

A Crystal Ball for Green Building Trends, (US Glass Magazine, Insights and Inspirations, May 6, 2016)

A Glance at the 2016 World Green Building Trends, (Green Building Education Services, Mar. 15, 2016)

Green Building Adoption Index 2015, (CBRE Group and Maastricht University, June 2015)

How Green is Overtaking the Commercial Property Market, (US Green Building Council, June 25, 2014)

Green Building Adoption Index 2014, (CBRE Group and Maastricht University, June 2014)

Chicago Ranked as One of the Top 10 U.S. Cities for Green Commercial Real Estate in New Study, (RE Journals, June 24, 2014)

San Francisco Second Most Green Real Estate City in the US, (Globe St., June 25, 2014)

Study: Half of Houston’s Downtown Commercial Projects Considered ‘Green’, (Houston Chronicle, June 25, 2014)

Green Building C​​ertifications

Green Building Certifications, Rating Systems, & Labels, (Green Building Alliance, June 29, 2016)

Sustainable: A Look at BOMA 360 Certification for Buildings, (Finance & Commerce, June 2013)

Natural Resources Defense Council-LEEDS Certification — A list of tips on how to get the LEEDS certification.

U.S. Green Building Council-LEEDS Program — LEEDS is an international recognized green building certification system, which provides a framework for building owners and contractors interested in building or converting commercial buildings into green ones.

Useful ​We​bsites

Penn State Center for Green Roof Research

Commercial Buildings: Green Opportunities for Leased Buildings — This website is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy site. It contains many great tips for lessees of commercial space to go green.

BuildingGreen.com —The website for Environmental Building News features articles from the newsletter, directories, and other resources for builders. Most of the site requires a paid subscription, but many resources are free.

Energy Star - Buildings & Plants—This website is part of the EnergyStar site. This site gives a great introduction to commercial green guidelines and strategies, including strategies for the future.


Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC) — Organization representing sustainable building professionals.

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.

World Green Building Council — International organization for green building professionals. Includes a list of links to other national green building councils around the world.

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.

Green Building​ & Twitter  

Who to follow:

The Green Resource Council: @NARGreen

U.S. Green Building Council: @usgbc

The Environmental Protection Agency's Green Building program: @EPAgreenbldg

The National Association of Home Builders Green Building Program: @NAHBGreen

GreenSource Magazine: @greensourcemag

Popular hashtags:






eBooks & Other Resources


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

Be a Successful Green Builder (Kindle, Audiobook, eBook)

Green Buildings A to Z (Audiobook, eBook)

Green Building Through Integrated Design (Kindle, Audiobook, eBook)

Green Guide: The Complete Reference for Consuming Wisely (Kindle eBook)

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

Land Use Law for Sustainable Development (eBook)

The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Own Food (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.

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

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

Green Buildings Pay, (London: Spon Press, 2003)

Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.

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.