Global green buildings ‘to double by 2018’, study finds

The number of companies that have more than 60% of their building projects certified 'green' is expected to more than double over the next two years, according to a new study.

The World Green Building Trends study, from the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), United Technologies, Saint Gobain and Dodge Data Analytics, estimates that 37% of companies will have the majority of their estate certified sustainable by 2018, a rise from 18% currently.


WorldGBC chief executive Terri Wills said: “This study offers further evidence on the strong business case for green building – the growth of which is now truly a global phenomenon. Green building is playing a critical role in the development
of many emerging economies, particularly as their populations grow and create a pressing need for a built environment that is both sustainable and ensures a high quality of life.

“Green Building Councils and their members around the globe will play a pivotal role in delivering this projected growth, and their leadership and expertise will be vital in realising the multiple social, economic and environmental benefits that green buildings offer.

Green markets

The study is based on more than 1,000 building professionals – from architects and contractors to owners and engineers – from 69 countries.

The anticipated growth in green buildings will largely be driven by countries that still have developing green markets, with firms from Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, China and India reporting significant growth in the percentage of their projects that they expect to certify as green.

A ‘green’ building project is identified as one that is either certified or built to qualify for certification under a recognised green standard, such as LEED, BREEAM, the DGNB System, and Green Star.

The report goes on to find that building owners saw a median increase of 7% in the value of their green buildings compared to traditional buildings – an increase that is consistent between new green buildings and those that are renovated green. 

Top priority

The most widely reported benefit globally
is lower operating costs. But around 30% of respondents also considered documentation and certification providing quality assurance; education of occupants about sustainability; and higher value at the point of sale, as additional benefits which are important in their markets.

Reducing energy consumption continues to be the top environmental reason for building green – selected as one of the top two reasons by 66% of all respondents. Protecting natural resources ranked second globally at 37%, and reducing water consumption ranked third at 31%. 

United Technologies chief sustainability officer John Mandyck said: “More people recognise the economic and productivity value that green buildings bring to property owners and tenants, along with the energy and water benefits to the environment, which is driving the green building industry’s growth.

“It’s a win-win for people, planet and the economy.”

Read the World Green Building Trends study here.

Green buildings at edie Live 2016

Green buildings is one of the key themes at edie Live 2016, which aims to provide a holistic view of the sustainability industry all in one place, whether you’re focusing on the strategy, operations or specifications for your organisation. 

The show will bring to life the major themes of the market, address the biggest challenges in the seminars and provide a showcase of leading suppliers for you to try before you buy.

Find out more and register to attend edie Live 2016 here

Luke Nicholls

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