Determinants of green building adoption

Franz Fuerst, Constantine Kontokosta, Patrick McAllister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper we investigate variations in the adoption of LEED-certified commercial buildings across 174 core-based statistical areas in the United States. Drawing upon a unique database and using a robust analytical framework, the determinants of the proportion LEED-certified space are modeled. We find that, despite high growth rates, LEED-certified stock accounts for a relatively small proportion of the total commercial stock. The average proportion is less than 1%. A further contribution of the paper is that our concentration measure avoids the biases associated with simple percentage measures that were used in previous studies of this topic. Strongest predictors of the proportion of LEED-certified commercial space in a local market are market size, educational attainment and economic growth. In terms of policy effectiveness, it is found that only a mandatory requirement to obtain LEED certification for new buildings has a significant positive effect on market penetration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-570
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironment and Planning B: Planning and Design
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014


  • Commercial real estate
  • Ecolabeling
  • Energy efficiency
  • Innovation diffusion
  • LEED

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Architecture
  • Urban Studies
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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