National governments and local authorities worldwide aim at reducing building related energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve a climate neutral built environment in 2050, the Netherlands must decrease its emissions by 80-95%. This challenge requires an approach that combines governmental means and market approaches. Green building certificates is an instrument that can contribute to accelerate the transition towards a green built environment. An extensive body of knowledge on green building certificates already exists and covers topics varying from research on drivers and barriers to financial implications for building values and rents.

This research builds on prior research on the environmental awareness of corporate real estate organisations, research on drivers for obtaining green building certificates, and financial and reputational effects. There is a lack of insight in the effects of green building certificates on the building value, business performance and capital justification for users, owners and financers of office buildings in use. In comparison with new buildings, certification of buildings in use must comply with the demands of all stakeholders involved. Rents cannot simply be increased after a building is certified because of running contracts between the tenant and building owner. Moreover, it can be questioned if a rent premium is justified as a certificate does not change the physical attributes of the building, neither does it contribute to increase productivity, nor reduce operation costs. This research aims to answer the following question: How do green building certificates affect the building and organisation of tenants, owners and financers of in use office buildings? 

The main goal of this paper is to identify and explain the effects on the building and organisation of tenants, owners and financiers of office buildings that are certified while already in use. Based on a literature review, theory is developed. The research is conducted using a multi-method research approach that combines semi-structured interviews with case studies and a questionnaire. Finally, findings are compared and evaluated by an expert panel.