As a leading advocate of green buildings and their effects on climate change and the greater economy, James McNeil has lectured on green buildings, leasing and market-related topics to industry stakeholders and regularly consulted and quoted by local and national media on green buildings, real estate and related issues.


Selected Speaking Engagements


      •  Efficiency Nova Scotia-Bright Business Conference, October 2015


      •  Green Real Estate Forum, April 2015


It has been argued in the past few years that the benefits associated with a greener building include enhanced occupant productivity and health. This session will examine tenants’ demands in terms of green space. What is necessary and what is “fluff” in regards to the design and operation of a space? Where a tenant has created a green workplace environment; how do they measure the outcomes to determine the level of savings that can be attributed? How do tenants motivate landlords to move forward in raising the bar on environmental performance of the overall building? This session will delve into retail, office and industrial assets from a tenant’s perspective to provide improved knowledge to owners and operators of these assets.

      •  Green Real Estate Forum, March 2014

        Cost Effective Strategies for Greening a thirty, forty or fifty year old building: What is Practical and Viable?

Most new commercial developments today are being designed with high levels of LEED® certification or building performance in mind. However, since new construction represents only 1% of all buildings, what are the available options for the remaining 99% of the stock to enhance their energy and environmental performance? The decision to green an existing building can be challenging: traditional pay-back models may not work; energy or performance modeling may be more difficult; and increased rents may not be guaranteed. The panel examined the practical measures that can be taken for buildings that are thirty to fifty years old or more. What steps can owners of existing buildings take to improve the operational efficiencies of their properties and to ensure that their space remains competitive in the market? What comes after the potential low-hanging fruit, e.g. upgrading lighting and mechanical systems? How do you make the business case if the retrofit has a much longer payback? How can you use modeling to determine the payback of any green initiative? Is it possible to move an older building up market by greening it? What are common challenges for retrofitting an existing building? How do you execute a project while the building is fully occupied with tenants?


      • Sustainabuild Conference May 2012 – The North American Flight to Sustainability:

        What Does This Trend Mean for Older Buildings in the Ottawa Real Estate Market?

An update on the major trends in the green real estate market starting with a bird’s eye view of North American trends and then focusing on the National Capital Region. This presentation examined the shifting attitudes of the corporate executive suite toward sustainability and how it is shaping tenant expectations and demand for greener space.

      • Green Real Estate Forum March 2011 – Green Building Market Trends

A discussion about the impact on employees and the effects on business if they perceive their employer is environmentally responsible. Specifically looking at employee overall satisfaction, their productivity and the impacts of CSR and sustainability on their decisions to stay.

      • Americas 2011 Broker Symposium Dallas – Green is the New Gold

An understanding of the market trends and market Drivers for green buildings. Connecting this market transformation to the opportunities for brokers in the green economy.

      • Greening the Capital’s Existing Buildings Leadership Forum – The Market Imperative

How Tenant Demands and Owner Leadership are driving the Greening of Existing Buildings


Selected media quotes and articles


Windmill development group brings unique ownership opportunity to the downtown core

Colliers  International quarterly office market report for Ottawa promising

New downtown Ottawa BIA leaders dealing with-capital-in-flux

Ottawa office market professionals maintain confidence

Councillors to vote on funding downtown EcoDistrict idea – Real Estate – (Ottawa Business Journal)

Double-digit office vacancy predicted for Ottawa / / (Real Estate News EXchange)

Ottawa broker starts new practice to focus on sustainability (Ottawa Business Journal)

Would-be Chaudière developer touts importance of green building (Property Biz Canada)

Agents of change drawn to green careers (Ottawa Citizen)

Ottawa looks to future transit hub as ‘gateway’ to downtown (

Federal committee calls for greener government office buildings (Ottawa Business Journal)

Rating system for green buildings threatened (Centretown News)

Washington planner boosts prospects for Ottawa Centre Ecodistrict (Property Biz Canada)

City of Ottawa backs away from LEED requirement for new buildings (Property Biz Canada)

Proposed Eco-District in Ottawa Centre Aims to Make Ottawa Greener (CITY Unlimited)

Downtown going green but city lags nationally (Centretown News)

Realtor pitches “eco-districts as a way to lure businesses downtown” (Ottawa Citizen)

Eco-district in the works for downtown Ottawa (SAB magazine)
A team headed by James McNeil of the Ottawa operations of real estate leasing firm  Cushman & Wakefield wants to make Parliament Hill and downtown Ottawa’s main office building and condominium district into an eco-district. The area is already seeing the refurbishment and construction of more energy-efficient buildings, installation of vegetated roofs, district energy project schemes, and plans for a light-rail tunnel.

Efforts underway for eco-district in downtown Ottawa (Property Biz Canada)

Reduce spacing, the federal workforce and CRE in Ottawa (Property Biz Canada)

Ottawa Class A office market tight despite three new buildings (Property Biz Canada)

Morguard set to benefit from Ottawa LRT (Property Biz Canada)

Ottawa studies east end transit stations on future LRT line (Property Biz Canada)

Ottawa’s Downtown Office Vacancies An Opportunity To Green (Property Biz Canada)

Ottawa Chamber pushes sustainability measures (Ottawa Business Journal)

Tougher building energy efficiency standards on horizon: McNeely (Ottawa Business Journal)

Interview with James McNeil of the Ottawa Centre EcoDistrict- Earthgauge Radio

James McNeil, Cushman Wakefield Ottawa re: green office building shift

The ROI of Green Real Estate | VoiceAmerica™
James McNeil RPA joins Cara this week to discuss the ROI of green real estate.Eco Districts

Mark Sutcliffe chats with realtor James McNeil about his proposal to turn parts of the downtown core into Eco-districts.