Sustainable Operations Yield Business Benefits

07/23/2012 |

While there’s room to improve, building owners are increasingly funding building efficiency projects.

A recent study by Siemens Building Technologies Division reveals that while U.S. buildings are on track for more sustainable operations, more aggressive measures could be implemented.

Titled A Path to Achieving Higher Building Performance and conducted in collaboration with McGraw-Hill Construction, the study explores trends in specific operational improvements, ongoing operational services, and renovations within the commercial office, healthcare, and higher education sectors.

Key findings include:

  • Despite the economy, owners are investing in their buildings and plan to continue to do so. In particular, they are increasing investment in operational activities that do not require significant up-front expense in order to yield benefits. For example, owners report one-year operating cost savings of 8-11% from their efforts.
  • Owners report significant business benefits from their investments in high performance building improvements, including ROI increases of 13% for commercial offices, 18% for healthcare facilities, and 15% for higher education buildings.
  • The trend isn’t limited to energy and operating cost savings. Owners are investing in their buildings for a variety of reasons. In particular, healthcare and higher education owners are influenced by higher satisfaction and the well-being of building occupants

The study also grouped buildings into four categories of sustainable improvement levels, from few to no green projects to a complete transformation. Most U.S. buildings fell in the middle range for improving building performance.

The research focuses on improvements and services conducted or initiated in the past three years and those planned for the next three years.

Interviews were conducted with 150 building portfolio owners. The complete study is available at


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