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Study: Minneapolis No. 1 city for green commercial space

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Everything is greener when it comes to commercial space in Minneapolis.

That's at least according to a new study by the real estate firm GBRE Group Inc. and Maastrict University in the Netherlands. The Star Tribune says the study – the 2014 Green Building Adoption Index – which found 77 percent of the commercial space of commercial real estate in the Twin Cities is certified green.

Minneapolis' high ranking partly stems from a Minnesota Commercial Building Rating and Disclosure ordinance, which requires commercial buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to use Energy Star to track energy and water use, the study found.

Also factoring in the high ranking is sustainability, which is "clearly integrated into the fabric and dynamics of the Minneapolis real estate market, driven by solid demand from corporate tenants," the study says.

In all, 135 buildings in Minneapolis – 152 million square feet of office space – are certified green, the Green Building Adoption Index says.

San Francisco was next on the index with 67.2 percent green-certified buildings, followed by Chicago (62.1 percent), Houston (54.8 percent) and Atlanta (54.1 percent).

The City of Minneapolis' Construction Code Services office supports sustainable building practices, and has information for existing buildings for transforming their structure into a green building. The Environmental Protection Agency also has information on benefits of building green.

In addition, the Green Building Certification Institute also recognizes excellence in green building practices. The institute's Green Building Council awards LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certifications to buildings to recognize the best-in-class building strategies and practices.

Some of the LEED certified buildings in Minneapolis include Fifth Street Towers, the American Academy of Neurology Headquarters and Fifty South Sixth in Minneapolis.

According to EarthDay.org, buildings are responsible for one-third of greenhouse gas emissions globally; and in the U.S., nearly 40 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions come from commercial and residential buildings.

"To create greener buildings, we need to improve energy and water efficiency, reduce waste and pollution, transition to renewable energy sources, and use sustainable buildings materials," the organization says.

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