Green builds double-down, move to becoming selling point
Green building continues to double every three years. (UTC Climate, Controls & Security)
WASHINGTON -- Green builds are showing no sign of slowing down. In fact, according to an announcement at the 2015 Greenbuild International Summit in Washington, D.C., green builds are doubling every three years.
That’s according to findings from the World Green Building Trends 2016 report by Dodge Data and Analytics.
The strongest acceleration of green builds is in emerging economies. Worldwide, both clients and tenants are increasingly demanding sustainability for both energy efficiency and occupant benefit, the report noted.
According to results released from the report:
Green Building Trends
- Across all regions studied, respondents increasingly projected that more than 60 percent of their projects would be green projects by 2018, with a doubling from current projects across the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, South America and Sub-Saharan Africa.
- The largest percentage of green building activity continues to be in the commercial building segment, comprising 46 percent of respondents' future green building projects.
- Activity in institutional buildings – schools, hospitals and public buildings – is expected to surpass green building projects in existing buildings (38 and 37 percent respectively) by 2018.
Green Building Drivers
- Forty percent of respondents noted client demands as a driver for green building activity, followed by environmental regulations (35 percent). Both categories increased over 2008 and 2012 responses.
- An enhanced awareness of the occupant and tenant benefits of green buildings emerged in the 2016 report, with healthier neighborhoods (15 percent), higher return on investment (11 percent) and employee recruitment (5 percent) increasing as drivers.
- Regarding social motivators, respondents ranked encouraging sustainable business practices as the most important benefit of green building (68 percent), followed by its ability to support the domestic economy, create a sense of community and increase worker productivity (all 50 percent or higher).
- From an environmental perspective, reducing energy consumption (84 percent) and reducing water consumption (76 percent) topped the list as important.
There is some work to do, but this data shows the benefits of green buildings are real."
High costs still seen as main barrier
While half of survey respondents cited higher perceived costs as the top barrier to green building development, that number has consistently declined from previous years’ surveys. (Down from 80 percent of respondents in 2008 and 76 percent in 2012.)
The other barriers vary by country. In the U.K., perception is that green is for high-end projects only. Meanwhile in developing countries, lack of public awareness and political support were highlighted as barriers.
"There is some work to do, but this data shows the benefits of green buildings are real. Roughly 70 percent of survey respondents cite lower operating costs as the greatest benefit – and these results provide a roadmap to continue growing this important segment," said Bob McDonough, president, UTC Climate, Controls & Security. "It becomes a cycle as building owners seek to create healthy, energy-efficient and productive environments—as a selling point to tenants."
The report surveyed more than 1,000 architects, engineers, contractors, owners, specialists and consultants in 69 countries.
Full results from the World Green Building Trends 2016 report are expected in early 2016.