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Green offices lose appeal in downturn

Energy efficiency and sustainability have become the least important factors for companies looking for new office space in London due to the continuing economic downturn.

A survey of 100 directors overseeing real estate at some of the largest companies in the City, Docklands and the West End found cost and the retention of staff were key concerns.

Meanwhile, a fifth indicated they were looking to downsize.

The Top Ten
1. Cost
2. Retention of key staff
3. Lease flexibility
4. Space efficiency
5. Higher quality environment
6. Occupational flexibility
7. Proximity to public transport
8. Proximity to clients/competitors
9. higher building profile
10. Energy efficiency
Bradley Baker, head of central London tenant representation at property experts Knight Frank which commissioned the report, said: “Whilst the green agenda and sustainability issues are fundamental to the future of office buildings, our research has surprisingly shown that as economic markets suffer, such requirements become less of a priority to central London office occupiers looking to acquire space: cost and retention of staff are key.

“We forecast that once the markets return, occupiers will again focus on the importance of sustainability.

“It will be interesting to repeat the same exercise once we have come out of the current economic uncertainty.”