Achieving LEED certification may not be your client’s goal for the project, but including sustainable elements where feasible usually makes good business sense. “We’re doing more Energy Star buildings than LEED buildings,” says Mirrielees. “We’ve found Energy Star to have more of a return on investment and to be more attainable than LEED-EB.” Whatever the case, an appropriate sustainability message may get your building on the leasing agents’ latest “properties to visit” list.
Looking at the current market for office space, McCafferty acknowledges that property owners are being even more cautious than usual about capital expenditures. “The trend right now is to hold onto your money,” she says. But with labor and materials at favorable prices, she says, now may be the best time to encourage building owners to invest in reconstruction.