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BOSTON-Chaos on the economy has been at the top of real estate professionals’ minds for months now, but according to a recent GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum’s second annual Existing Buildings survey, green building is still a priority. The report, which was done in conjunction with the US Green Building Council and BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) was released yesterday here at the USGBC’s Greenbuild conference.

Nearly 87% of the 251 professionals that responded to the survey said that greening their portfolios is a priority for their business, up from 81.5% last year. Almost 81% said that they have allocated funds for green programs in their companies, an increase from just under 64% in 2007.

And this is just the beginning, said Mark Heisterkamp, the USGBC’s director of commercial real estate, at a press conference yesterday, citing survey data that says only a small amount of firms’ portfolios are LEED certified. “There are still many, many companies that are just getting their feet wet,” he said. “This data tells us a lot of people are thinking about it.”

Another survey featured yesterday at Greenbuild was put out by online facilities-management publication FMLink, BOMA, USGBC and the Association for Facility Engineers. It found that more building managers are pushing to control their buildings’ energy use.

“There is an increased focus on saving energy,” said Peter Kimmel, an architect and publisher of FMLink “The building professionals are much more savvy than they’ve ever been.”

That survey found that 73% of all buildings over 50,000 square feet have an energy audit. Additionally, respondents said that they averaged savings of between 5% and 10% over the last two years after audits.

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