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Difficulties in changing existing leases - one explanation of the "energy paradox"?
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Real Estate and Construction Management, Building and Real Estate Economics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4921-9479
2012 (English)In: Journal of Corporate Real Estate, ISSN 1463-001X, E-ISSN 1479-1048, Vol. 14, no 1, 63-76 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate if a green lease could eliminate the splitincentive problem in two office buildings located in Stockholm, Sweden. It aims to provide a theoreticaloverview concerning the “energy paradox” and to describe a case study in which a green lease was tobe implemented in the legal framework for two office buildings in the Stockholm region.

Design/methodology/approach – This paper documents a case study, in which a green lease wasto be implemented in the legal framework for two office buildings, to promote a more activeengagement in the buildings energy performance. In order to accomplish this, a project group wasformed which consisted of representatives from the building owners, tenant, property manager,energy consultants and KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.

Findings – This paper reveals that it is very hard to alter already legally binding agreements.Furthermore, it shows that the separation of ownership and usage of a building may not be optimalfrom an energy efficiency point of view.

Originality/value – The paper gives an empirical explanation as to why at times energy efficiencymeasures are not undertaken, even though the investments themselves bring about a positive netpresent value. In addition, the paper analyses the situation where property maintenance is outsourcedto a property management firm, which is a common but seldom discussed situation in the literature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 14, no 1, 63-76 p.
Keyword [en]
Green leases, Energy efficiency, Energy consumption, Split incentives, Office buildings, Energy paradox, Energy efficiency gap, Sweden
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-116374DOI: 10.1108/14630011211231446OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-116374DiVA: diva2:589176
Note

QC 20130121

Available from: 2013-01-17 Created: 2013-01-17 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Economic studies of Green Commercial Buildings in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Economic studies of Green Commercial Buildings in Sweden
2013 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Climate change has risen to become one of our most critical global issues to resolve. Greenhouse gas emissions have been identified as one of the main causes for increased global temperature. As most energy production causes emission of greenhouse gases, a more energy efficient real estate sector could reduce the global greenhouse gas emissions. This reduction could be dramatic, as the real estate sector accounts for quite a large share of the society’s total energy usage. However, it is argued that even economically profitable investments are not being conducted to the full extent, leaving an “energy efficiency gap”. From an economic perspective there are multiple hinders that hampers environmental and/or energy efficiency investments (e.g. transaction costs, split incentives, capital constraints).

This licentiate thesis studies environmental issues from an economic point of view in the commercial built environment in Sweden. The main purpose is to illustrate how different real estate actors respond to building environmental and/or energy performance, with focus on barriers, actions and economic outcome/impact. The thesis consists of an introductory essay and two articles.

The first article studies the implementation of green leases. The study showed that complex contract structure involving different parties easily create so called “split incentives”, which can be very hard to resolve by additional agreements. This could be one explanation to why some profitable energy efficiency investments are not being realized. Furthermore, the study showed that the building owners were quite risk averse, in the sense that they were reluctant to conduct energy efficiency investments with longer pay-off periods than the current lease term. As Swedish commercial leases have a short contract length, this myopic view hampers energy efficiency investments with longer pay-off periods. An additional result from the study was the emotional aspect, from the tenant’s point of view, to invest in somebody else’s property. In general, the tenant considered building improvements to be the landlord’s responsibility. All in all, a conclusion that could be drawn is that the separation of building ownership and usage may have a negative impact on the leased commercial building stock’s energy performance.

The second article studies whether energy performance affects the appraised value of office buildings. The overall result was that the energy performance rating had no impact on the commercial office buildings’ market values. The study indicated that rents, “time of valuation”, changes in vacancy rates, location and “low building age” had the greatest impact on assessed market values. This result could be due to that the correlation between energy usage and maintenance costs is low. Further explanation could be that the specified model suffers from multicollinearity, as the effect of improved energy efficiency cannot be separated from the building age or rent.

The including studies support the notion that energy efficiency measures are difficult to implement and appraise to the full extent. Hence, future research is going to focus on how “green” features better could be incorporated into real estate valuation practices as well as evaluation of how environmental certified buildings are actually performing (concerning rents, energy usage, user satisfaction etc.).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. 27 p.
Series
TRITA-FOB, 2013:1
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-116450 (URN)978-91-85783-29-8 (ISBN)
Presentation
2013-02-15, L1, Drottning Kristinas väg 30, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20130121

Available from: 2013-01-21 Created: 2013-01-18 Last updated: 2013-01-21Bibliographically approved
2. Green Buildings: Exploring performance and thresholds
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Green Buildings: Exploring performance and thresholds
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this research project is to study green/energy-efficient real estate from an economic perspective. The thesis summarizes the results from five different studies with a connection to green/energy-efficient real estate.The aim of the first paper (paper A) is to study how tenants perceive the indoor environment in green-rated premises, and to compare these results with tenants’ perception of a conventional building’s indoor environment. The main result is that the tenants in the green-rated building are more satisfied with the indoor environment than the tenants in the conventional building.Papers B and C assess whether energy efficiency has an impact on buildings’ income and market values using Swedish real-estate data. The key result is that although there is a small impact on building-related income, this does not seem to translate into a higher market value.The last two papers included in this thesis study hindrances to a more energy-efficient building sector. In paper D, two office buildings are used as baseline cases to provide insights into the difficulties that can arise when trying to upgrade a building to make it more energy efficient. The results indicate that changing existing leases is a prohibitive process and that it is often difficult to evaluate the final impact of an energy upgrade. The last paper focuses on why it may be rational to postpone green refurbishments even if they are profitable. The main result is that it may be rational to postpone such refurbishments. However, by introducing different financial penalties and/or subsidies, these investments could be triggered today.To sum up, the results indicate that green buildings are preferred by tenants, but that there still appear to be economic barriers to a greener building sector.

Abstract [sv]

Det övergripande syftet med denna avhandling är att studera grön/energieffektiva byggnader ur ett ekonomiskt perspektiv. Avhandlingen består av en kappa och fem separata studier, vilka belyser tre olika forskningsfrågor.

Syftet med den första studien är att studera hur hyresgäster upplever inomhusmiljön i gröna byggnader. I studien jämförs inomhusmiljön i en grön byggnad med inomhusmiljön i en likvärdig konventionell byggnad. Resultatet visar, på det stora hela, att hyresgästerna är mer nöjda med inomhusmiljön i den gröna byggnaden. De nästföljande studierna, B respektive C, undersöker om byggnadens energiprestanda har någon inverkan på dess hyra respektive marknadsvärde. Resultaten visar på en liten signifikant hyrespåverkan, dock verkar denna inte ha någon effekt på byggnadernas marknadsvärdebedömningar. Skälet till detta kan vara att hyrespremien anses för liten för att ha någon signifikant inverkan på byggnadens marknadsvärde, alternativt att fastighetsvärderare inte beaktar energiprestanda när en fastighet värderas.

De två sista studierna studerar varför vissa, tillsynes lönsamma, energiinvesteringar inte genomförs. Resultaten från studie D visar på svårigheterna med att ingå ett samarbetsavtal (för att eliminera felaktiga incitament) mellan hyresgäst och hyresvärd. Sådana avtal tar lång tid att förhandla fram och det uppkommer ofta svårigheter med att utvärdera de tänkta energiinvesteringarnas ekonomiska utfall. Studie E utgår ifrån en realoptionsmodell, vilken används för att utvärdera när ”gröna” renoveringar bör genomföras i en befintlig byggnad. Studien visar att det kan vara rationellt att vänta trots att investeringen idag är lönsam. Vidare visar resultaten att det är möjligt att via byggsubventioner/finansiella ”straff” påverka aktörer att tidigarelägga energieffektiviseringsåtgärder.  Dock är det viktigt att dessa utformas korrekt så att det inte skapar några snedvridna incitament.

Övergripande visar resultaten att gröna byggnader är att föredra ur ett brukarperspektiv men att det fortfarande finns ekonomiska hinder för en mer hållbar byggsektor.

Nyckelord: gröna byggnader, energieffektiva byggnader, EPC, inomhusmiljö, Realoptioner, fastighetsekonomi.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. x, 31 p.
Series
TRITA-FOB, 2016:3
Keyword
Green Buildings, Energy-Efficient Buildings, EPC, Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ), Real Options Analyses (ROA), Real-Estate Economics
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Real Estate and Construction Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-184874 (URN)978-91-85783-65-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-04-29, Sal F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20160407

Available from: 2016-04-07 Created: 2016-04-06 Last updated: 2016-04-07Bibliographically approved

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