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CRE owners are becoming increasingly worried about climate change

Commercial real estate owners and developers in California and around the country are becoming more concerned about the consequences of climate change and how their buildings may be contributing to the problem according to a report released recently by the Urban Land Institute. Human activity releases billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year, and experts say that about a third of these emissions come from buildings of one type or another.

The ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance report reveals that becoming more environmentally aware provides commercial property owners and developers with several benefits. Space in energy-efficient buildings is usually rented quickly by companies interested in reducing their monthly heating and cooling costs, and taking steps to reduce carbon emissions can boost corporate reputations and nurture brand loyalty. While going green may be a prudent marketing strategy, property owners in vulnerable coastal markets have more pressing concerns and are taking action on this issue to protect their investments from the consequences of rising temperatures and sea levels.

Many industry analysts expect environmental regulations to become far stricter in the years ahead, and the data suggests that many developers are taking a proactive approach to avoid the costs of retrofitting their projects later to meet these tougher standards. Renovating older structures to make them more energy efficient and less polluting is an area that has experienced significant growth in recent years, and most experts expect this trend to continue according to the ULI.

Attorneys with experience in real estate litigation will likely know that these issues can be extremely challenging. Environmental laws leave little room for compromise, and attorneys may help developers to avoid ruinously expensive postponements and delays by thoroughly researching any possible contamination issues before work gets underway. When these problems do arise, attorneys may seek to resolve them quickly to minimize disruption and keep projects on track.

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