Retrofitting Commercial Office Buildings for Sustainability: Tenants' Perspectives

Miller, Evonne & Buys, Laurie (2008) Retrofitting Commercial Office Buildings for Sustainability: Tenants' Perspectives. Journal of Property Investment & Finance, 26(6), pp. 552-561.

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Purpose: Buildings, which account for approximately half of all annual energy and greenhouse gas emissions, are an important target area for any strategy addressing climate change. Whilst new commercial buildings increasingly address sustainability considerations, incorporating green technology in the refurbishment process of older buildings presents many technical, financial and social challenges. This article explores the social dimension, focussing on the perspectives of commercial office building tenants.

Methodology/Approach: Semi-structured in-depth interviews with seven residents and neighbours of case-study building under-going green refurbishment in Melbourne, Australia. Responses were analysed using a thematic approach, identifying categories, themes and patterns.

Findings: Commercial property tenants are on a journey to sustainability. Tenants are interested and willing to engage in discussions about sustainability initiatives, but the process, costs and benefits need to be clear.

Research limitations/implications: The findings, whilst limited by non-random sampling and small sample size, highlight that the commercial property market is interested in learning about sustainability in the built environment.

Practical implications: The findings highlight the importance of developing a strong business case and transition plan for sustainability in commercial buildings. As sustainable buildings become mainstream, tenants predicted the emergence of a 'non-sustainability discount' for residing in buildings without sustainable features.

Originality/value: This research offers a beginning point for understanding the difficulty of integrating green technology in older commercial buildings. Tenants currently have limited understandings of technology and potential building performance outcomes, which ultimately could impede the implementation of sustainable initiatives in older buildings.

Impact and interest:

39 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 15428
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: sustainability, office buildings, perceptions, retrofitting, tenants perspectives
DOI: 10.1108/14635780810908398
ISSN: 1463-578X
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Institutes > Institute for Sustainable Resources
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Emerald
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 03 Nov 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:42

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