Chryso, GCP parent company takes global sustainable construction pulse

Sources: Saint-Gobain Group, Paris; CP staff

A survey aimed at better understanding stakeholder perceptions and levers to accelerate adoption of sustainable construction finds that implementation of related practices will only be effective if it matches local realities. Advocates of such practices must likewise work to ensure stakeholders are better informed, better trained, and committed.

The Sustainable Construction Barometer is based on a quantitative survey of industry professionals, students, elected representatives, and association members in 22 countries. Sample size and scope help to identify actions to advance sustainable construction as a strategic response to resource constraints and rapid urbanization accelerated by demographic pressure.

Understanding of sustainable construction often seems limited to environmental issues, Barometer researchers note. Definition of the practice is still largely associated with “green construction,” directly linked to buildings’ energy efficiency and projects’ carbon neutrality attainment, according to 42 percent and 33 percent of survey respondents, respectively. Overall, worldwide awareness of sustainable construction is high: 87 percent of those surveyed said they were familiar with the premise, up five points from last year’s inaugural survey, while 68 percent of respondents this year claim to be sufficiently informed, but educational efforts are still needed—particularly among elected representatives. 

Architects and engineers lead the list of players most often cited for advancing sustainable construction. Building design professionals are credited with 29 percent of first-intention response, followed by elected representatives (21 percent) and public institutions (20 percent). Construction professionals feel strongly committed to sustainable practices: 85 percent of survey respondents note that they carry out all or part of their business accordingly, and 92 percent expect to do so within the next five years.

Barometer researchers find sustainable construction in the United States is foremost a question of recycling materials and energy efficiency. Domestically, 85 percent of survey respondents are familiar with the concept of sustainable construction, which continues to be defined as how buildings are constructed with which materials. U.S. respondents most closely associate sustainable construction with recycling materials, while 83 percent cite building energy efficiency.   

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