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Sustainable Real Estate: Transitioning Beyond Cost Savings


ISBN: 978-1-83867-374-1, eISBN: 978-1-83867-373-4

Publication date: 15 June 2020


In recent years, sustainability considerations in the real estate sector have moved from being a niche market phenomenon to a mainstream trend. The movement has been accompanied by a shift in the industry’s perception of sustainable buildings. Traditional cost-saving goals are now complemented by a growing interest in the potential for sustainable buildings to tackle broader economic and social sustainability challenges as well as issues related to health and well-being. The real estate industry is increasingly expected to adapt its strategies to incorporate new and more stringent environmental and urban development requirements, to cater to shifting demographics, and to utilize new advancements in construction processes and materials. This chapter explores recent research on sustainable real estate and highlights some of the newest trends in the market. The chapter then examines how policy and technological advancements can enable real estate developers to tackle environmental, social, and economic sustainability challenges. This will be exemplified through a focus on carbon taxation and timber construction. Based on these case studies, the chapter illustrates how today’s sustainable real estate sector – marked by its move beyond a focus on cost savings – requires for building practices to be strongly rooted in global, sustainable development policies.




This research was funded by the Sam and Diane Scalia Sustainable Built Environment Program at Concordia University. We are grateful to Tyler Schwartz and Adele Dumont-Bergeron for their excellent research assistance.


Walker, T. and Goubran, S. (2020), "Sustainable Real Estate: Transitioning Beyond Cost Savings", Wasieleski, D.M. and Weber, J. (Ed.) Sustainability (Business and Society 360, Vol. 4), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 141-161.



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