Predicting the Unit Appraisal Value of the Unimproved and Private Land in the City of Houston by LEED Sustainable Site Credits



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The primary objectives of this research are to identify the relation between Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria regarding sustainable site credits and the appraised value of land parcels in the City of Houston, and additionally to analyze the effects of detail components which leverage the sustainable credits regarding the Public Transportation Access (PTA) in terms of economic issues. To accomplish these objectives, the approach to estimate sustainable ratings of specific parcels using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was established. Green construction must be one of the most powerful trends in the construction industry. One of the main concepts to underlie the basis of this green construction is sustainability. This sustainability has to be considered in the process of the site selection prior to the actual activities to construct a building. Recently, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has suggested the modified guideline with "LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations". According to this metric, it is clear that this principle endeavors to block environmental abuses related to land development or restoration projects. On the other hand, it is not easy to check the serviceability of these rules to guarantee continuous economic merit through sustainable land development or restoration encouraged by these criteria. The criteria regarding the sustainable site selection in this LEED metric are Sustainable Site Credit (SSC) #1: Site Selection, SSC #3: Brownfield, and SSC #4.1: Public Transportation Access. Linear regression methods were used for predictive analysis. In this model, the unit appraisal value of the land was used as the dependent variable to reflect the economic values of the land, and LEED-sustainable-site criteria were used as the categorical independent variables. According to statistical results, the models to predict the appraisal parcel value using sustainable site components have relatively low R-square. Moreover, SSC #1 and SSC #3 were not significant factors affecting the unit value of land. This outcome means that there are no statistically significant effects of SSC #1 and SSC #3 on parcel value. On the other hand, SSC #4.1 was highly significant. Furthermore, the detail components of SSC #4.1 regarding the bus stops and railroad stations were also significant. These results can lead to improved environmental preservation by avoiding development which is far from the PTA as well as increasing economic value while enhancing the development density near the PTA corridors. Finally, GIS was used to determine the LEED ratings of individual parcels. The methods established to do this can be applied to other projects for the other regions, or the same region at different times.