Dodge Data & Analytics’ World Green Building Trends 2016 Report reveals that green building is doubling every three years worldwide. This speedy rate of adoption can be attributed to many factors, but the top reason might surprise some of you.

The survey, which included responses from 1,000 architects, engineers, contractors, owners, specialists and consultants in 69 countries, analyzed both the trends and drivers for green building. Of those respondents, 40 percent noted client demands as the top driver for green building activity, even more so than environmental regulations (35 percent).

To put it simply: increased consumer education is a major factor in commercial and residential green building growth.

To further this point, the Dodge report also cited that “an enhanced awareness of the occupant and tenant benefits of green buildings emerged in the 2016 report, with healthier neighborhoods (15 percent), higher return on investment (11 percent) and employee recruitment (5 percent) increasing as drivers.”

Other notable stats:
• Perception of higher costs of green building as a barrier has dropped from 76 percent down to 50 percent in the past three years;
• 46 percent of respondents’ green building projects are commercial buildings;
• Green institutional new projects should surpass existing buildings by 2018 at 38 percent vs 37 percent, and;
• 70 percent of respondents cite lower operating costs as the greatest benefit.

The View from Here? We’ll continue to see more studies like this that show the real cost and return of energy-efficient and sustainable building products and practices (see also: Green Building: The Value Beyond Operating Costs). As education grows, so will our opportunities.

As I have said many times in my blog, the better educated consumers become the more they will value energy-efficient building products. As an industry, we can only stand to benefit from this trend.

What’s your View? Email me directly at Eric.Jackson@Quanex.com.

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