Performance Metrics for Sustainability Value

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: The trend that started with Green Building has moved on into Sustainable Building. But how do we know that something is really sustainable? This project started out with the intention to find a small set of performance indicators for commercial buildings, which could be continuously measured and monitored over time, which would give a good indication of the level of sustainability of the building and as such, and be presented as an additional part in a valuation. Since it has been shown several times over by now that properties that can prove they are sustainable generate a higher market price, these performance indicators would be interesting from the perspective of a valuation professional. In order to find these parameters, the project began with three of the international environmental certification systems and one Swedish system, to study which parameters are considered important in these systems. Following that study, surveys and interviews within the real estate business in Sweden provided an insight into how performance is measured today. Lastly, by combining those studies with a review of the sustainability information considered important by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) from a valuation professional’s point of view and an updated literature review, a simple set of indicators could indeed be identified. There is however, still a problem with defining their actual impact on market price. Other authors have come to the conclusion that although sustainability can be measured to some extent, incorporating that information into valuation of the property in a statistical secure way is not yet possible. We need to increase our knowledge about the performance of our built environment and the presented key performance indicators in this thesis would help us do just that. We can also see that real estate owners in many cases already gather much information about their buildings, but they lack the incentives to share that data with others.