Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainable Development

Saving More than Water

January 02, 2014 at 5:20 PM

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) recently published a new report, "The Green Edge: How Commercial Property Investment in Green Infrastructure Creates Value." The report specifically cites green infrastructure efforts funded by Onondaga County in New York State and how it provides grants to commercial properties that install green infrastructure retrofits in specific sewer districts and has distributed about $3.8 million to date. Short Enterprises spearheaded the largest privately pursued green infrastructure projects under the program at the Onondaga Commons Comprehensive Expansion & Urban Revitalization Initiatives and secured over a million dollars in funding from the County (click here to learn more).

The NRDC report explores the wide range of benefits green infrastructure can provide to commercial real estate like that of Onondaga Commons. These include higher rents and property values, increased retail sales, energy savings, local financial incentives (such as tax credits, rebates, and storm water fee credits), reduced life-cycle and maintenance costs, reduced flood damage, reduced water bills, reduced crime, and improved health and job satisfaction for office employees. The report also provides illustrative examples for retail buildings, office buildings, and multi-family residential buildings, showing that the cumulative value of these benefits can total in the millions of dollars over a long-term (40-year) planning horizon.

  • To read the full report from the NRDC, click here.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also recently released a report titled “Case Studies Analyzing the Economic Benefits of Low Impact Development and Green Infrastructure Programs,” which presents case studies of 13 local utilities and municipalities that have analyzed the economic benefits of their green infrastructure (GI) programs. The report also highlights the different evaluation methods that the case study entities have successfully applied, and demonstrates cases where GI has been shown to be economically beneficial. This document provides development professionals with information and insights that they can draw upon when planning and implementing their own GI programs.

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