Minneapolis-St. Paul does a better job creating energy efficient office buildings than any of its metropolitan peers, according to an annual index.

For the second year in a row, the Twin Cities topped CBRE's Green Building Adoption Index with more than 70 percent of all commercial office space holding a certification from either the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program or the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED standard. 

The 2015 National Green Building Adoption Index ranks the top 30 U.S. markets based on two percentages: the total number of office buildings, and total office square footage.

More than 70 percent of all office space in Minneapolis-St. Paul is certified by one of these programs. That's the highest in the nation and nearly twice the national average of 38.7 percent. San Francisco trailed the Twin Cities by less than half of a percent.


This brings up an interesting, albeit not surprising, factor. The larger the building, the more likely that the owners and managers are to seek certification. Nationally, more than 63 percent of buildings over 500,000 square feet are certified. This progressively drops off the smaller the building's footprint. For instance, less than 5 percent of buildings under 100,000 square feet nationally are certified.The local market did worse on the percent of buildings certified, 28 percent, but is still well above the national average, which hovers just above 13 percent. 

The study's authors note competition for the best and brightest talent being a driving factor for companies.

"With 18 Fortune 500 companies located in the Twin Cities, competition is fierce to attract and retain the best young talent. Knowing that this young talent is passionate about the environment, many of these companies strive to occupy green buildings," the study says.

Building owners have to respond to the market's demands, which is why a number of Class A office buildings have transitioned to more energy-efficient methods. Examples include Capella Tower, Wells Fargo Center, 33 S. 6th Street and Campbell Mithun Tower.

Limitations of the study:

- Some owners choose not to renew their building's certificate due to cost. This means that some highly efficient buildings may not be counted in the rankings.

- The study only captures commercial office buildings, leaving out all government owned and occupied, and medical buildings.

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