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Doing Green on the Double

19 February 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

Global green building is expected to double by 2018, according to a new study from Dodge Data & Analytics and United Technologies Corporation, on which the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) was a research partner.
The study – World Green Building Trends 2016, Developing Markets Accelerate Global Green Growth – finds that the percentage of companies expecting to have more than 60% of their building projects certified green is anticipated to more than double by 2018, from 18% currently, to 37%.

The anticipated growth will largely be driven by countries that still have developing green markets with firms from Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, China and India reporting ‘dramatic’ growth in the percentage of their projects that they expect to certify as green.

The study, produced with support from United Technologies, a member of WorldGBC’s Corporate Advisory Board, and with additional support from the US Green Building Council and Saint-Gobain, also on WorldGBC’s Corporate Advisory Board, features the results of more than 1,000 building professionals from 69 countries – including Green Building Councils and their corporate members, from architects and contractors, to owners and engineers.

It follows an earlier study from 2013 which Green Building Councils also contributed to. For that study, as with this one, a green project is identified as one that is either certified or built to qualify for certification under a recognised green standard, e.g. LEED, BREEAM, the DGNB System, Green Star and many other tools.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Global green building continues to double every three years.

  • Brazil expects sixfold growth in the percentage of companies that expect to certify the majority of their projects green (from 6% to 36%); fivefold growth is expected in China (from 5% to 28% and fourfold growth is expected in Saudi Arabia (from 8% to 32%).

  • Building owners report seeing a median increase of 7% in the value of their green buildings compared to traditional buildings (an increase that is consistent between new green buildings and those that are renovated green). 

  • The most widely reported benefit globally is lower operating costs but around 30% of respondents also consider documentation and certification providing quality assurance, education of occupants about sustainability and higher value at the point of sale as additional benefits which are important in their markets.

  • The top sector for green building growth globally is commercial construction, with 46% of all respondents expecting to do a green commercial project in the next three years.

  • Reducing energy consumption continues to be the top environmental reason for building green (selected as one of the top two reasons by 66% of all respondents), protecting natural resources ranked second globally (37%) and reducing water consumption ranked third (at 31%).

“This study offers further evidence on the strong business case for green building, the growth of which is now truly a global phenomenon,” stated Terri Wills, CEO, WorldGBC. “Green building is playing a critical role in the development of many emerging economies, particularly as their populations grow and create a pressing need for a built environment that is both sustainable and ensures a high quality of life. Green Building Councils and their members around the globe will play a pivotal role in delivering this projected growth and their leadership and expertise will be vital in realising the multiple social, economic and environmental benefits that green buildings offer.”

Picture: The future’s bright, the future’s green according to the latest World Green Building Trends 2016 report

Article written by Mike Gannon | Published 19 February 2016


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