Green issues have dropped to the bottom of London’s occupiers expectations in their decisions to lease new office space, research by Knight Frank has said.

In a survey of more than 100 directors in charge of real estate at some of the largest companies in the capital’s City, Docklands and West End markets, Knight Frank found that, as the economy has deteriorated, energy efficiency in new office space had become the least important factor in the search for office space.

Cheap rents top of the list

Rental cost was the most important consideration, with 40% of respondents citing it and 20% naming it as essential.

The list of factors effecting a tenant’s decision in order were:

1. Rental 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.

‘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 new space: cost and retention of staff become key,’ said Bradley Baker, Knight Frank’s head of central London tenant representation.

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