Green Building Accelerates Globally through Economic Downturn

November 15th, 2012 by DWM Magazine

Around the world, the green building marketplace is accelerating, according to a new study being released by McGraw-Hill Construction in partnership with United Technologies. The study indicates a shift in the global construction market, now viewing green as a business opportunity rather than a niche market.

According to the release, firms report that their top reasons to do green work are client demand (35 percent) and market demand (33 percent)–two key business drivers of strategic planning. The next top reasons were also oriented toward the corporate bottom line-lower operating costs (30 percent) and branding advantage (30 percent). In contrast, the top reason in 2008 motivating the green building market was doing the right thing (42 percent) and market transformation (35 percent), followed by client and market demand.

The report notes that in the next three years the sectors with the largest opportunity for green building around the world include new construction and renovation projects. Sixty-three percent of firms have green work planned in new commercial projects and 45 percent in new institutional projects by 2015, and 50 percent have plans for green renovation work, according to the announcement.

For green retrofits, operating savings are higher than for new buildings with operating costs reported to decrease by 9 percent over one year and 13 percent over five years, according to the report. Asset valuation is also expected to increase, though at more moderate levels than for new green buildings; design and construction professionals expect 5 percent increased building value from green retrofits, and owners expect higher asset valuation of 4 percent. The report adds that for green projects, payback on efforts is expected within 8 years for new projects and 7 years for retrofit/renovation work.

The study also revealed that approximately 48 percent of the work by U.S. respondents was green–with that share expected to increase to 58 percent by 2015.

The findings are drawn from a McGraw-Hill Construction survey of firms across 62 countries around the world. Firms include architects, engineers, contractors, consultants and building owners.

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