Global demand for green buildings to grow ‘significantly’ by 2021

Poll of 2,000 construction sector participants across five continents points to growing demand for smart, efficient, green buildings in the coming years

Global demand for green, smart, and efficient buildings has grown “significantly” over the past decade and the construction industry expects the trend to continue, an international survey of the sector carried out across five continents suggests.

The poll of over 2,000 architects, engineers, contractors, owners and investors from 86 countries revealed expectations that green building projects will account for the lion’s share of the sector’s project pipeline in the coming years, thanks to a “clear enthusiasm” across global markets.

Published earlier this week by Dodge Data & Analytics on behalf of as number of green building groups, including the World Green Building Council and the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the research found almost half of respondents expect at least 60 per cent of their projects to be ‘green’ by 2021.

The outlook builds on “significant” growth in green building demand over the past decade, which is poised to double in some regions over the coming years, Dodge Data & Analytics said.

The research also suggests perceptions around green buildings have changed significantly. For example, the proportion of respondents believing green buildings cost more than traditional construction methods has “declined dramatically” from over three quarters in 2012 to less than half in this week’s survey.

Donna Laquidara-Carr, industry insights research director at Dodge Data & Analytics, said enthusiasm for green building and retrofitting projects was being “driven by the business benefits they receive, which have stayed consistent since 2012”.

“These benefits include eight per cent operating cost savings in the first year and increased building asset values of seven per cent for new green buildings, which are clearly influencing all those who do green building to deepen their engagement with green,” she added.

Meanwhile, social benefits are becoming an growing driver for the green construction sector, the survey found, with occupant health, well-being, and increased worker productivity emerging as top priorities for companies, alongside the desire to create a sense of community and support domestic economies.

Terri Wills, CEO of the World Green Building Council, said the survey showed green building was increasingly seen as a key business benefit. “Additionally, around the world, green building is considered to have an impact beyond significant environmental benefits, such as increased employee productivity and satisfaction,” she said.

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