The number of "green" offices in Moscow will more than double by 2015 when 10 additional buildings get the international certifications to show that they are resource-efficient, according to a study Jones Lang LaSalle released this week.
Currently, less than 2.5 percent of Moscow's quality office buildings — equal to 253,000 square meters, or 8 complete buildings and portions of two other buildings — are certified with the international green-building standards BREEAM or LEED.
These numbers are already enough for the Russian capital to surpass several cities in Eastern Europe in terms of the quantity of green offices.
But while Moscow has the edge over cities including Prague, Warsaw and Bucharest in terms of the total certified area, it lags as far as the percentage of certified objects is concerned. Here Moscow's 2.5 percent comes against the 6 to 12 percent of office buildings certified in Eastern European cities.
These numbers are expected to rise rapidly due to the increasing interest from developers and renters in offices that have low levels of pollution and minimal impact on the surrounding environment.
One of the main factors in the popularity of "green" offices globally is the possibility of cutting down energy costs. However, this is not a big factor in Russia, where energy costs are low in comparison to Western countries. What matters, however, is the status value of such a project.
"In Moscow, the 'green' building status is a hallmark in commercial real estate," said Kseniya Agapova, consultant in ecological innovations at Jones Lang LaSalle. "The prestige of having an office in a 'green' building also plays an important role."
As per the price differentials of renting and building these offices, experts said that there are still too few 'green' offices on the market to make any general conclusions.