Cushman & Wakefield and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s BetterBricks initiative recently released a new report that examines green building opportunities in 25 of the nation’s largest cities. The Green Building Opportunity Index (PDF) looked at a city’s two-year forecasted rent growth, three-year office-using employment growth, and the office space that was currently under construction. These categories were scored and the cities were ranked. San Francisco, Calif., came out on top as the city best poised to take advantage of the green building boom.

Each of the six categories was broken down into several variables. The 25 cities included in the index were then scored and ranked on a category-by-category basis. The results from all six categories were then gathered together, and the final Green Building Opportunity Index list was created.

The top cities by category are as follows:

Office Market Conditions – Minneapolis, Minn.

This category examined a city’s rent, vacancy, leasing activity and absorption rates.

Investment Outlook – San Francisco, Calif.

This category assessed forecasted rent growth, office-using employment growth, and office space that was under construction.

Green Adoption & Implementation – Chicago, Ill.

A city’s LEED certified office space, EnergyStar-certified office space, and the availability of LEED APs was examined to rank cities in this category.

Mandates & Incentives – New York, N.Y.

All three business districts in New York City scored 100 points due to state, county, and city laws and ordinances, expedited permitting for green building, reductions in permit fees, and other incentives to foster green building in the city.

State Energy Initiatives – San Francisco, Calif.

A state’s energy policy was measured using the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) guidelines and California’s pro-energy efficiency stance helped San Francisco and other California cities top this category.

Green Culture – Downtown New York City

A city’s green economy, city innovation, planning & land use, and transit ridership data from SustainLane was used to rank cities in this category. (Pittsburgh, Pa., and Detroit, Mich., both received a score of zero in this category.)

After San Francisco, the rest of the top five central business districts designated as prime for green building development include Oakland, Calif., Midtown New York City,  Los Angeles and Chicago.

Where there is a top five there is also a bottom five. The bottom five cities on the Green Building Opportunity Index include Detroit (#25), Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Cleveland and Atlanta.

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