Real Estate Conglomerate Conducts Energy Challenge

CBRE Group is accepting applications to fund research and innovation relating to sustainability of commercial real estate.

Applicants have until Feb. 1, 2013 to apply for grants of up to $250,000 in CBRE’s Real Green Challenge. The program will award a total of $1 million over four years to fund independent research on ways to reduce energy and water consumption in commercial buildings. Initial funding will be provided in the second quarter of 2013.

In addition to monetary funds, the winning projects will be supplemented by CBRE’s technical expertise and global network of resources, as well as an opportunity for qualified applicants to test their wholly-owned research idea in CBRE-managed buildings.

CBRE has delineated the following broadly defined categories for the challenge:

  • Comparative productivity studies that can prove empirical benefits of sustainable building occupancy
  • Behavioral effects of disclosure and transparency on consumption
  • Development of online predictive modeling software
  • Development of an industry-wide sustainability scoring system for consumer comparison
  • Best practices or system software for auditing and sharing savings derived from energy investments
  • Best practices or system software that reduce operating costs or enhance revenue through recycling strategies and programs

CBRE has assembled a panel of internal and external global experts to evaluate research proposals. The judges include members of academia, non-governmental organizations and industry.

Los Angeles-headquartered CBRE Group has about 34,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through more than 300 offices worldwide.

A 2012 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark survey found that real estate investors and managers are sharpening their focus on sustainability issues with 60 percent collecting and reporting energy consumption data in 2012, nearly double from last year.

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