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New Report: Global Green Building Doubling Every Three Years


The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) last week released the results of the Dodge Data & AnalyticsWorld Green Building Trends 2016 SmartMarket Report, to which USGBC is a contributing partner. If you would like to get a sense of the magnitude of the green building market, I highly recommend getting a copy of the free report. The report reflects the results of more than 1,000 survey participants from 69 countries. The survey was conducted in 2015. The report says global green building continues to double every three years. Increasing consumer demand has pushed the world’s green building market to a trillion-dollar industry, a surge that has led to a corresponding increase in the scope and size of the green building materials market, which is expected to reach $234 billion by 2019. Economic forces were cited as the most important drivers for many of the countries surveyed. The report found that green buildings offer significant operational cost savings compared with conventional buildings.

To this effect, respondents expect a 14 percent savings in operational costs over five years for new green buildings and 13 percent savings in operational costs over five years for green retrofit and renovation projects. Building owners also report that green buildings—whether new or renovated—command a 7 percent increase in asset value over conventional buildings.

Today, there are nearly 75,000 commercial projects participating in LEED across the globe, with 1.85 million square feet of building space becoming LEED certified every day. Interestingly, client demand and environmental regulations are driving the growth, followed by market demand and it being the “right thing to do.” The report shows that the drivers behind green building vary by country. So too do the obstacles. For example, in China, protecting natural resources and improved indoor air quality are important drivers. Increasing worker productivity is most commonly selected by respondents in Saudi Arabia, Mexico, South Africa and Germany. Lack of public awareness and lack of political support/incentives are top obstacles in many developing green markets, including Brazil, Colombia, India and Poland.

The highest level of growth is expected in the developing world while growth in the developed world is expected to remain rigorous. The report breaks down survey results by region and concludes with breakdowns of those product areas that are benefiting most from green building—electrical, thermal and moisture protection, building automation systems, etc.