Green construction presents global profit opportunity
Business strategy around the world is shifting its focus to sustainable building as firms seek to profit from innovation in the built environment.
Analytics company McGraw-Hill Construction's latest survey has found that 51% of respondents were planning more than 60% of their work to be sustainable by 2015.
This is a substantial increase from the 28% that said they would focus on sustainable building in 2013 and a vast departure from the 13% who said the same in 2008.
Firms from 62 countries participated in the report including architects, engineers, contractors, consultants and building owners.
The increasing trend towards sustainable building is global. From 2012 to 2015, the report developed in partnership with United Technologies Corp (UTC), found that the number of firms anticipating that more than 60% of their work would be green more than tripled in South Africa and more than doubled in Germany, Norway and Brazil.
In the UK the number of firms that said that more than 60% of their work would be sustainable increased from 45% in 2012 to 68% in 2015.
This figure also rose to between 33% and 68% in the US, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Australia.
UTC Climate, Controls & Security chief sustainability officer John Mandyck said: "This report confirms that the green building movement has shifted from 'push' to 'pull' with markets increasingly demanding no less than green buildings."
"By promoting greater efficiencies for energy and water, green buildings lower building costs while conserving the earth's precious resources. This powerful combination of built-in payback with environmental stewardship creates a new value proposition that is accelerating green building in all regions of the globe."
According to the survey, the main reason firms were going green was business imperative. In a 2008 report, McGraw-Hill Construction found that the top driver for green building was "doing the right thing." However in 2012, this had changed with business citing drivers such as client and market demand as the key factors influencing the market.
The findings demonstrated global industry professionals believe green building can provide substantial cost benefits, with 19% estimating their operating costs will decrease by 15% or more over the next year and 39% foreseeing that they would make savings of 15% or more over the next five years.
The most significant green building product opportunities are in the categories of electrical, mechanical, and thermal and moisture protection with at least 60% of survey respondents stating that they had installed or specified products in these categories in 2012.