How Larger Property Owners Can Better Navigate Green Building Regulations


As green building regulations and standards gain momentum across the United States, now is the time for commercial property investors to act and adapt, to not only meet targets as they come into force, but to keep on track as they get more rigorous looking ahead to 2030 and beyond.

The path to meeting green building targets and navigating the state-by-state regulations lies in the adoption of innovative software solutions that centralize data, empower informed decision-making, drive sustainable practices, and ultimately ensure properties remain solid investments. 

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Property owners, particularly those with large portfolios, are most exposed to penalties for not meeting targets. It will be the proactive investors, who embrace technology, that will thrive while also reducing their environmental footprint.

Sinead Guerin headshot How Larger Property Owners Can Better Navigate Green Building Regulations
Sinead Guerin.

The key to avoiding penalties is a software tool that is capable of gaining deep insights into each building’s energy performance and consumption, and centralizing that data. This is the driving force behind the creation of Univers’ ARK software — it collects all that data and puts it in one place so investors can better understand how they can meet and manage emissions across their portfolios.

Data quality remains a significant issue when dealing with large property portfolios. One of the challenges for investors is that energy consumption can vary significantly across a portfolio, making it difficult to track accurately. This can complicate efforts to reduce energy usage, identify portfolio risks and opportunities, determine the most and least efficient buildings, and ensure compliance with local regulations. ARK can collect all data and present it as reliable and comprehensive analytics so investors can identify the poor performers and make informed decisions on how to improve a building’s emissions by making the necessary upgrades.    

Of course, other technologies can be leveraged to achieve energy efficiency and sustainability goals, and there are a number of solutions available. These include upgrading heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, which can significantly reduce energy consumption and improve building performance. Incorporating on-site renewable energy sources like solar panels can help offset electricity demand and reduce emissions. Installing energy storage systems can store excess energy during off-peak hours for later use, reducing grid dependency. ARK can complement those abatement technologies by showing the carbon reduction resulting from these initiatives.

In a world increasingly driven by data, the importance of robust data management and analytics in carbon reduction cannot be overstated. Accurate and comprehensive data not only provides insights into energy consumption, but also allows investors to identify hidden efficiency opportunities, make data-driven decisions, and set informed sustainability strategies. Data transparency and accountability are becoming prerequisites for regulatory compliance and stakeholder trust.

With the world shifting toward mandatory climate disclosures and stringent regulations such as New York City’s Local Law 97, data becomes the linchpin that enables property investors to not only contribute to a greener future, but also to ensure economic survival.

And it’s not just about avoiding penalties. A data-driven approach is a fundamental pillar of financial resilience and securing smart investments in today’s real estate landscape. By leveraging advanced software solutions and comprehensive data analytics, property investors can create value in their portfolios. Data-driven insights enable them to identify energy inefficiencies, mitigate risks, and make strategic investment decisions that raise property values and help to ensure tenant satisfaction. 

In an era where sustainability is intertwined with economic stability, a proactive stance on data-driven sustainability not only protects investments — it also positions property investors as leaders in a rapidly evolving, environmentally conscious market.

Sinead Guerin is the senior business development manager at energy consultancy Univers.