People or systems: Does productivity enhancement matter more than energy management in LEED certified buildings?
jats:pThis study examines the impact of energy management and productivity-enhancing measures, implemented as part of LEED Existing Buildings Operations and Management (EBOM) certification, on source energy use intensity and rental premiums of office spaces using data on four major US markets. Energy management practices, comprised of commissioning and advanced metering, may reduce energy usage. Conversely, improving air quality and occupant comfort in an effort to increase worker productivity may in turn lead to higher overall energy consumption. The willingness to pay for these features in rental office buildings is hypothesised to depend not only on the extent to which productivity gains enhance the profits of a commercial tenant but also on the lease arrangements for passing any energy savings to the tenant. We apply a difference-in-differences method at a LEED EBOM certification group level and a multi-level modelling approach with a panel data structure. The results indicate that energy management and indoor environment practices have the expected effect on energy consumption as described above. However, the magnitude of the achieved rental premiums appears to be independent of the lease type.</jats:p>