The Green Building Information Gateway (GBIG) is a global technology platform that the U.S. Green Building Council has developed to collect and catalog all green building activities worldwide, including those of high-performance rating systems such as LEED, the U.K.’s BREEAM assessment and Australia’s Green Star program.
As the green building industry continues its rapid pace of market-driven growth, these rating systems are bringing new information to the marketplace—and GBIG helps users decipher these perspectives through data-driven insights.
The web-based tool, found at GBIG.org, was born out of the market’s need to better understand the green dimensions of the built environment. This includes a need for greater context and increased transparency on features that positively impact an asset’s market position and risk profile.
Risk and Reward
Geared toward green building practitioners and knowledgeable market participants, GBIG brings together a wide variety of verified data sources to create the first-ever searchable, fully functional green building data platform.
Through data-driven insights, GBIG creates value and competitive advantage for high-performing green building projects around the world. The platform provides a daily snapshot of green building data and analytics for thousands of places, projects, collections and credits, detailing the actions and activities of green building owners and project teams over time. Features include maps, timelines, analytics and insights that reveal trends, patterns and processes in green building practice.
This context allows transaction professionals, such as brokers, lenders and investors, new opportunities to refine market definitions, reward high-performance and translate green building ratings into actions. By clearly identifying and refining a building’s profile, these professionals can detect high-performance assets in an otherwise crowded marketplace.
The emergence of GBIG provides a watershed moment for the real estate industry. GBIG’s ability to provide deeper market context and peer group comparisons across multiple green dimensions will play out over time, and it will shape which party has greater leverage when seeking the upper hand in lease negotiations, debt pricing and equity yield requirements.
The tandem of a green rating and GBIG’s data-driven context provides the information base to advance the real estate capital market’s next-generation understanding of risk and reward. Rating systems like LEED, BREEAM and Green Star are well-positioned to enable improved market efficiency by recognizing reduced risk.
By applying new comparison tools, GBIG furthers market understanding of risk in ways that can reward leading owners with increased value while punishing inefficient competitors. The platform also enables users to identify which assets are best positioned to achieve rent premiums or enact expense reduction strategies by way of detailed credit achievements that can impact an asset’s financial prospects.
Understanding GBIG Timelines
There are currently more than 18,200 LEED-certified projects totaling 2.5 billion square feet worldwide, each containing newly available data that send strong market signals on energy, water, waste and overall environmental quality. Additionally, in market segments solely concerned with high energy costs, superior energy efficiency is signaled by the 22,500 projects that have successfully achieved an ENERGY STAR label.
An asset’s LEED rating or ENERGY STAR label provides the achievement investors seek when pursuing high-quality investments. However, the collective weakness of rating programs is that these achievements exist only at a specific moment in time.
The GBIG timeline is a newly released feature that provides a rich history into the full spectrum of activities, achievements and strategies implemented at a building over an extended period of time. Buildings with extensive timelines demonstrate continuous engagement with industry best practices—the hallmark of a superior asset.
Timelines in Action
Analyzing timelines flushes out solid insights into an asset’s operational profile and overall quality. A review of top timelines in major U.S. cities demonstrates similar characteristics:
One or more LEED certifications
Consistent long-term engagement with the ENERGY STAR program
Peer recognition through industry awards and case studies
Currently, assets with multiple ratings account for 12 percent of GBIG building profiles—the number of multi-rated assets shows brisk year-over-year growth. The top GBIG timelines show a natural bias to long-term engagement with ENERGY STAR, but going forward, timelines will begin to capture a greater scope of green activities, resulting in a robust picture of engagement, action and leadership at the asset level.
Green building rating systems identify attributes that define high performance, inform financial prospects and distinguish market value. At every phase of design, construction and operation, a building owner makes a series of decisions that are reflected in the building’s ultimate feature set. Collectively, these decisions lead to outcomes that shape the asset’s market position and long-term financial profile.
Through GBIG, the marketplace now has an opportunity to uncover insights and increase understanding of how this dynamic can impact real or perceived risk, both of which may result in a material value swing. Investors and tenant brokers are tuned in to the value of building-level ratings, and equally interesting, have become acutely aware of the absence of a rating in certain industry sectors. As more asset-based information becomes available, tools such as GBIG provide the missing link that allows market participants to hone into the substance behind the rating and more appropriately segment markets by risk-adjusted value.