San Francisco is again the front runner among the 30 largest office markets for green opportunities, according to this year’s Green Building Opportunity Index, released by global real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s BetterBricks initiative. “Green and sustainable building initiatives play a large role in solidifying a [Central Business District’s] rank in the Green Building Index,” says Peter Wilcox, senior manager at BetterBricks.

In its second year, the index uses both real estate fundamentals and green development considerations to provide weighted comparisons of top U.S. central business districts (CBDs) in six categories: office market conditions; investment outlook; green adoption and implementation; local mandates and incentives; state energy initiatives; and green culture.

The 2011 Green Building Opportunity Index Top 10 CBDs are, in order:

     1. San Francisco
     2. Midtown Manhattan
     3. Washington, D.C.
     4. Midtown Manhattan South
     5. Los Angeles
     6. Boston
     7. Downtown, N.Y.
     8. Portland, Ore.
     9. Seattle
    10. Oakland, Calif.

Within the six categories judged by the index, various markets stood out. The following CBDs topped each category:

     - Office Market Conditions: Portland, Midtown South, NY and Midtown, NY.
     - Investment Outlook: San Francisco, Midtown South, NY, and Midtown, NY.
     - Green Adoption & Implementation: Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Denver
     - Local Mandates & Incentives: Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Midtown South
     - State Energy Initiatives: San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County and Oakland all received a score of 100. 
     - Green Culture: San Francisco, Midtown South, NY, Midtown, NY, Downtown, NY, and Boston 

In addition to the rankings above, Cushman & Wakefield and BetterBricks further analyzed the Seattle and Midtown markets to produce separate Green Building Opportunity Indexes. The reports detail green factors unique to each market including a green office index, office market statistics, significant lease transactions, major investment sales and a review of LEED-certified buildings.