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An Investigation of the Effect of Eco-Labeling on Office Occupancy Rates

Fuerst, Franz and McAllister, Patrick (2009): An Investigation of the Effect of Eco-Labeling on Office Occupancy Rates.

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Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of eco-labeling on the occupancy rates of commercial offices in the US. The occupancy rates of LEED and Energy Star labeled offices are compared to a sample of non-labeled offices which were selected to include properties in the same submarkets. Significant differences are found between the two types of labeling. While Energy Star labeled offices are more likely to be multi-tenanted compared to the total sample, single tenant occupancy tends to be over-represented among LEED labeled offices. Using OLS and quantile regression analyses, a significant positive relationship is found between occupancy rate and the eco-label. Controlling for differences in age, height, building class and quality, the results suggest that occupancy rates are 5-7% higher in LEED labeled buildings and 1.5-3.5% higher in Energy Star labeled buildings. However, the effects are concentrated in certain market segments.

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