How green is Osaka’s Grade A office market landscape?

Half of Osaka’s Grade A offices are green-certified or substantive green buildings.

January 03, 2023

27% of Osaka Grade A offices1 have valid green building certifications as of the end of September 2022. Of these buildings, 1% hold CASBEE Certification for Buildings, 13% hold CASBEE Certification for Real Estate and 13% hold DBJ Green Building Certification (None with both CASBEE and DBJ Green Building certifications). CASBEE (comprehensive assessment system for built environment efficiency) is an evaluating and rating method, developed through the collaboration of academia, industry and national and local governments.

There are no office buildings with LEED or BREEAM certifications in Osaka, although a few tenants hold LEED Interior Design and Construction (LEED ID+C) for their occupied spaces. This includes Gold for American Express in the Shin-Daibiru Building and Silver for McKinsey Kansai Office in Grand Front Osaka Tower B.

Given that 42% of Grade A office stock is green certified across 14 cities in Asia, 27% of Osaka Grade A offices being green certified may seem insignificant. However, there are more green buildings in Osaka City in a slightly broader sense. As CASBEE and DBJ Green Building certifications have expiry dates, some office buildings have been certified as green buildings in the past but have passed their expiry dates. In addition, Osaka City requires the submission of a building environmental plan containing the results of a CASBEE Osaka Mirai (self-evaluation), which is a derivation of CASBEE, for constructing a building of a certain size. Many Osaka Grade A office buildings have acquired S (Excellent) or A (Very Good) in CASBEE Osaka Mirai, and many of these buildings have been commended by Osaka City as highly evaluated buildings, but most certifications have passed their expiry dates.

These former green and quasi-green buildings account for at least 20% of Osaka Grade A offices. If their environmental performance can be currently worthy of being certified by third-party evaluation, then around half of Osaka Grade A office buildings are green-certified buildings or substantive green buildings. If that is the case, Osaka will be one of the cities in Asia with many green buildings.

Of the same building group, only 3% of the office buildings have valid wellness certifications as of September 2022. There are no buildings with WELL certifications, while 3% hold CASBEE Wellness Office. However, with the increasing consideration for wellness after the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of tenants who seek to acquire wellness certification is increasing. In fact, some tenants in multiple buildings are at the registered status of WELL, and the proportion of office buildings with wellness certifications is expected to increase in the near future.

Osaka office market landscape will be greener as seasons go by. 

Figure 1: Proportion of green-certified Grade A office stock in Osaka as of Q3 2022

Source: JLL Japan Research

[1] Osaka Grade A offices refer to the office buildings with a GFA of 15,000 sqm or more, completed in 1990 and later and located in the central business districts of the central five wards in Osaka City. Please note that the definition of Osaka Grade A offices here differs from the definition of Osaka Grade A office in JLL research periodic reports.