Global survey: Business imperative, market demand drive green building growth

Source: McGraw-Hill Construction, New York

As sustainability and energy efficiency initiatives take hold worldwide, construction interests are finding business value and opportunities from green building, including greater demand for environmentally responsible products, according to the latest SmartMarket Report, “World Green Building Trends – Business Benefits Driving New and Retrofit Market Opportunities in Over 60 Countries.”

Developed in partnership with United Technologies Corp., plus World Green Building Council and U.S. Green Building Council support, the report is based on a study of global green building trends and aims to discern marketplace drivers. It finds that firms are shifting their business toward green building, with 51 percent of respondents planning more than 60 percent of their work to be green by 2015. This is a significant increase from the 28 percent and 13 percent levels, respectively, respondents indicated in 2010 and 2008 surveys.

The growth is not a trend localized to one country or region. From 2012 to 2015, the number of firms anticipating that more than 60 percent of their work will be green: more than triples in South Africa; more than doubles in Germany, Norway and Brazil; and, grows between 33 and 68 percent in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and United Arab Emirates.

“This report confirms that the green building movement has shifted from ‘push’ to ‘pull’—with markets increasingly demanding no less than green buildings,” said UTC Climate, Controls & Security Chief Sustainability Officer John Mandyck. “By promoting greater efficiencies for energy and water, green buildings lower costs while conserving the earth’s resources. This powerful combination of built-in payback with environmental stewardship creates a new value proposition that is accelerating green building in all regions of the globe.”

In a 2008 report, McGraw-Hill Construction found that the top driver for green building was “doing the right thing.” However in 2012, business drivers such as client and market demand are the key factors influencing the market. “The acceleration of the green building marketplace around the world is creating markets for green building products and technologies, which in turn will lead to faster growth of green building,” said McGraw-Hill Construction Vice President of Industry Insights and Alliances Harvey Bernstein. “And the fact that green is growing in all parts of the world indicates opportunities in both established markets as well as developing countries.”

Report findings are drawn from a McGraw-Hill Construction survey of architects, engineers, contractors, consultants and building owners from 62 countries. The sample was drawn from firm members of the World Green Building Council, other global industry associations, and the ENR Top Lists. Of the respondents, 92 percent are members of Green Building Councils around the world. Additional findings from the World Green Building Trends SmartMarket Report can be found here.