Report reveals that LEED in China is accelerating

Joe Crea

According to a newly published report from CBRE and USGBC, as Chinese builders move in accordance with the nation’s 13th Five Year Plan, green building space is expected to reach two billion square meters by 2020, up from current estimates of 600 million square meters of green building space spread across more than 300 cities.

Between 2006 and 2016, LEED-certified projects had a compound annual growth rate of 77 percent, making China the global leader for LEED projects outside of the United States.

The "2017 China Green Building Report: From Green to Health” notes, additionally, that as of August 2017, more than 48 million square meters of projects across 54 Chinese cities have been LEED-certified.

The report also ranks the top 20 cities for LEED certification in 2017:

City 2017 LEED-certified Space (10,000 square meters) Cumulative Growth Since 2014
Beijing 1,003 58 percent
Shanghai 834 118 percent
Chongqing 412 10 percent
Shenzhen 264 225 percent
Wuhan 250 29 percent
Guangzhou 231 105 percent
Chengdu 208 131 percent
Hangzhou 172 196 percent
Tianjin 172 111 percent
Suzhou 171 108 percent
Nanjing 124 69 percent
Shenyang 106 87 percent
Wuxi 84 143 percent
Nanchang 66 2908 percent
Zhengzhou 50 212 percent
Guiyang 45 239 percent
Foshan 43 106 percent
Dalian 41 496 percent
Hefei 40 1289 percent
Xiamen 29 74 percent

Additional findings related to LEED:

  • In the past four quarters, the average occupancy rate of LEED projects in China was 81.7 percent, which is 1.5 percent higher than that of traditional offices. By comparison, the average occupancy of LEED Platinum projects in China was 86.7 percent, 10 percent higher than traditional offices. This indicates a significant increase in occupant demand for LEED Platinum structures.
  • Since 2014, LEED Platinum spaces have grown more than 200 percent and now account for 22 percent of all LEED-certified space in China, up from 14 percent.
  • As of Q2 2017, over 2.22 million square meters of quality office space had earned LEED Platinum certification.

The report is the third in a series of studies conducted by CBRE and USGBC. In 2016, “Towards Excellence: Market Performance of Green Commercial Buildings in the Greater China Region" found that LEED-certified Grade A office buildings exceeded 5.6 million square meters across 10 major cities in greater China, an increase of 7.4 percent from the previous year, accounting for 28 percent of the total market.

The 2016 report built upon CBRE’s 2015 report, "New Era of China’s Green Buildings," which found that rental premiums for LEED-certified Grade A offices in key mainland China cities—including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu—enjoy a higher average rental performance ranging from 10 to 30 percent, and are better positioned to weather a downward commercial real estate market.

In China’s tier two cities, such as Chengdu, Tianjin, Hangzhou and Wuhan, LEED-certified Grade A office buildings cover a floor area of nearly one million square meters, accounting for an estimated 18 percent of the total Grade A office area in those cities.

Download the new report

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