General Manager, Toronto-Dominion Centre

David Hoffman

Mediaplanet: What is the leading reason tenants decide to inhabit buildings that are increasingly green and energy efficient?

David Hoffman: Sustainability is not only about the planet, it is equally a growing business necessity that needs to continuously respond in an ever-changing world through integrated thought and focus. Progressive organizations are beginning to integrate sustainability into financial reporting and business decision making. This approach results in efficient operations, improved workplaces, and enhanced governance.  Landlords that support this approach through a robust sustainability program will enhance an organization’s ability to excel.

MP:  In your opinion, what is the biggest innovation in green building in recent years?

DH: Over the last five to seven years many Canadian real estate organizations have developed and implemented sustainability programs across their portfolio. These programs have become well established and comprehensive. At the heart of many programs is the idea of continuously measuring, improving and reducing a building’s environmental footprint. The programs ensure green practices drive the way buildings are operated and are managed. The best programs set operational and utility reduction reductions targets, along with other measurable benefits.

MP: Looking forward, where do you see green real estate heading in the near future?

DH: The connection between sustainability and wellness is beginning to transform how we define green buildings. Occupant wellness is broadening the traditional sustainability conversation beyond just the planet to include people and human health. With a greater focus on human health and wellness in the development process and ongoing building operations, discussion and initiatives are emerging on how people interact with the built environment.


Vice President, Sustainability, Bentall Kennedy

James Gray-Donald

Mediaplanet: What is the leading reason tenants decide to inhabit buildings that are increasingly green and energy efficient?

James Gray-Donald: Our tenants want to provide healthy, attractive work spaces that appeal to their most talented employees, and increases the productivity of the majority of its workforce. This is particularly strong in the knowledge sector of finance, IT, law, etc.

MP:  In your opinion, what is the biggest innovation in green building in recent years?

JG: There are lots of neat technologies being put into buildings, though I would say that cloud-based data tracking of building energy and sustainability performance is emerging as the biggest innovation, which is enabling continual improvement in energy, water, and waste performance.

MP: Looking forward, where do you see green real estate heading in the near future?

JG: The consensus is that health is the next big thing in green buildings. I think a few firms will spend a lot of money achieving and marketing the WELL standard on prestige new office developments. As in the early days of LEED there will be debate about the material difference of WELL buildings. In the meantime, the safe money is on energy efficiency projects that also improve the quality of the occupant’s experience.


Director, Sustainability & Building Technologies, BOMA Toronto

Bala Gnanam

Mediaplanet: What is the leading reason tenants decide to inhabit buildings that are increasingly green and energy efficient?

Bala Gnanam: Some of the top reasons included tenant’s being submetered and having to pay their utility bills, therefore keeping costs down is important and they also have their own CSR policies and objectives that they have to meet. Other reasons include, attracting and retaining “green minded” employees, and better indoor environments have been linked to increased productivity.

MP:  In your opinion, what is the biggest innovation in green building in recent years?

BG: The two biggest innovations in green buildings in the recent years have been the advancement and accessibility of metering technologies (for the purpose of monitoring, targeting, and reporting) which allows end users to easily monitor their energy consumption and take actions to improve performance. And the capabilities for remote energy audits which enables all parties involved to easily understand the performance of their built environment.

MP: Looking forward, where do you see green real estate heading in the near future?

BG: With the target demographic and tenant becoming more informed, combined with proven cost savings from high-performance buildings, the real estate sector has no option but to go green, which means that green leases will become a standard rather than an option.