Financing for green building projects may be easier to get from smaller banks who are competing with other smaller banks, for the time being. Large financial institutions are getting interested in green building, for example Wells Fargo is leading the charge in setting up a LEED volume certification program for retail spaces. In fact, as the demand for commercial and residential green space increases we may start to see a ‘greens arms race’ between such large lending institution as Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Bank of America says Dan Winters of Evolution Partner.
Groups like Evolution Partners, which is a boutique real estate investment advisory and private equity firm specializing in financing high-performance, environmentally responsible real estate projects, also indicate that getting financing for green building is not only possible but turning into an attractive option for investors.
One of the things that needs to happen to speed the process of green building financing is that real estate professionals need to be savvy about the increased value of green space so that appraisals of these properties can be done correctly. Groups like the Green Building Finance Consortium will help gather the needed background data to make this possible, but it is still a work in progress.
Another option for green building funds are grants and government incentive programs. It is always a good idea to look close to home for grant money, an example of this is The City of Portland and Energy Trust of Oregon, which awarded a combined total of $425,000 in 2007 for six different projects from the Green Investment Fund (GIF), a five-year, $2.5 million grant fund created to spur innovation in green building technologies and practices in Portland. This is the third year in the five year funding cycle. Check out Green Building Pages and Green Building Funding Opportunities from the EPA for more information on grant and incentive funding.