Improved ROI metrics key to green-building market share growth

Source: McGraw-Hill Construction, New York

A report announced during the White House’s 2012 GreenGov Symposium reveals that in order for green building to continue to gain market share at a comparable rate to the past decade, more far-reaching benefits need to be demonstrated to drive construction buyers to increase their level of related investments. Often dubbed “triple bottom line,” the benefits span the financial, environmental and social spectrum.

“Owners have acted on compelling benefits from their green investments, mainly savings in energy, water, waste and lowered operating costs,” says McGraw-Hill Construction’s Harvey Bernstein, vice president of Industry Insights and Alliances. “However, these are only a fraction of the advantages offered by green buildings—missing is a quantification of the full triple bottom line benefits from these investments.”

In partnership with engineering giant URS Corp., McGraw-Hill Construction published “Determining the Value of Green Building Investments: A Perspective From Industry Leaders on Triple Bottom Line Decision Making” as the latest in its SmartMarket Executive Brief series. The report contain findings of qualitative research conducted through interviews with sustainability leaders in the education, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and federal government sectors on their perspectives about decision making for green building investments. Among actions it identifies to accelerate those investments:

• Evaluate social, environmental and financial goals together when making decisions on green building;
• Create green building benchmarks through standardization and disclosure of operational building costs;
• Compile data and case studies that establish the value of nonfinancial benefits of green building;
• Create better tools using a more thorough, industry-consensus definition of lifecycle costing based on impacts across the triple bottom line;
• Assemble a public database of green project measures across the triple bottom line.

The report can be obtained from McGraw-Hill Construction Research & Analytics.