News Brief

GRESB to Track Health Measures for Real Estate Investors

Health features may attract tenants or help companies retain talent; now investors will be able to pick real estate portfolios with those advantages.  

April 4, 2016

The new health and well-being module will be one way to systematically assess ways in which property managers and funds are promoting the health of their employees or customers.

Image: GRESB
Behind every tightfisted developer is a frugal investor—and this show-me-the-money crowd wants hard evidence that measures like improving indoor air quality and adding biophilic design elements add value to real estate investments. Luckily, there’s now a new tool to capture information about steps that property companies have taken to promote health and well-being, and it easily tracks against financial performance.

GRESB, the annual survey that has already begun to prove to investors that real estate portfolios with better sustainability rankings yield higher returns, has now added a health and well-being module. This optional section of the survey introduces ten new questions that help make health-promoting actions taken by property companies, fund managers, and developers more visible to investors.

For example, the survey asks, “Does the entity use specific strategies to promote health and well-being through its real estate assets and services?” Respondents check off all strategies that apply, upload supporting evidence, and indicate the percentage of assets that implement these strategies. The survey also asks whether the organization is conducting any monitoring, but the organization is not required to submit those results.

A company that is investing in health-promoting features for its employees might be able to better attract and retain talent. Or a real estate developer that provides leased space or services that promote well-being might attract more desirable clients. The GRESB health and well-being module won’t help discern whether these actions result in better health outcomes, but it may show that companies that invest in these measures perform better and reduce risk, and thus are better choices for investors.

The health and well-being module will be open for use in April 2016 and is available as an add-on to the GRESB Real Estate or Developer Assessments.

More on GRESB and buildings that promote health

GBCI Acquires Sustainable Real Estate Benchmark GRESB

Employee Performance Doubled in Well-Ventilated Buildings

Make Your Buildings WELL: A New Design Standard for Health

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