World Green Building Trends Report

December 18, 2011   |   Platinum Builders
McGraw Hill Construction’s World Green Building Trends reportpresents findings that are encouraging. According to the report, the level of green building activity around the world has increased dramatically over the past three years, and the data suggests that firms are committed to increasing their involvement in green building projects in the near future. Globally, 51% of firms expect at least 60% of their work to be green by 2015 – up from 13% in 2009.

The report suggests that the green building market is fairly equitable and not necessarily “isolated to any particular region, economic condition or culture.” In Brazil, an astonishing 83% of participating firms said they would be involved in new green commercial projects over the next three years, while nearly two-thirds of the firms in Singapore are planning green high-rise residential projects. South Africa shows 36% of firms planning new green low-rise residential projects, and 73% of UAE firms have new green institutional projects planned. These projects will undoubtedly reach across a wide demographic spectrum.

Improved indoor air quality and productivity were much more important to study firms today than they were in 2008 – 55% rating health and wellbeing as the top social driver for green building (up from 29%). As some of these green building benefits become better understood and monetized, it should become easier for companies to justify higher up front cost. The report shows new green buildings to have a 15% decrease in operating costs over five years with a 8 year payback time for green investments.

Perhaps the most interesting finding in the report was evidence that the green building market is now being motivated by the bottom line instead of an “idealistic desire to do the right thing.” This would mark a paradigm shift in the way the industry views its green building efforts and might be the most important factor in determining the rate at which we go green. In the 2008 study, “doing the right thing” was the primary trigger driving growth of green building around the world. In 2012, more firms cited lower operating costs and public relations as the main triggers driving the growth of green building. Industry professionals across a wide spectrum are starting to believe that building green makes sense economically.

So where does all this data come from? After all, the report did paint quite an optimistic picture for global green building… Turns out McGraw Hill Construction, in partnership with United Technologies, conducted a considerably large survey of firms (architects, engineers, consultants, contractors, and business owners) from 62 countries across the world – 9 of which are featured with sufficient sample size for statistical analysis.