Green buildings ‘buck economic downturn’

‘Green’ building is no longer seen as a niche market and is helping the construction industry buck the economic downturn, suggests a new study. Half of firms in the study […]

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By Vicky Ellis

‘Green’ building is no longer seen as a niche market and is helping the construction industry buck the economic downturn, suggests a new study.

Half of firms in the study said they are planning more than 60% of their work to be green by 2015, up from 28% of firms in 2012.

The findings come from a survey of firms across 62 countries including architects, engineers, contractors, consultants and building owners. Of the respondents, 92% are members of Green Building Councils around the world.

The research released by McGraw-Hill Construction and United Technologies shows cutting back energy use tops the environmental reasons: 72% say it is the important environmental reason to plump for in green building.

In the next three years, the sectors with the largest opportunity for green building around the world include new construction and renovation projects. More than six in ten firms have green work planned in new commercial projects and 45% in new institutional projects by 2015. Half have plans for green renovation work.

Geraud Darnis, president and CEO of Climate, Controls & Security at United Technologies which commissioned the report said: “This research confirms that we now see more pull than push for green buildings.”

Jane Henley, president of the World Green Building Council added: “Today, there are green building councils in 92 countries around the world—more than double what it was when we first looked at the green building market globally in 2008.”

Green building in the UK and Singapore is flying skyscraper high with the most firms planning sustainable renovation projects, at 65% and 69% of firms respectively.

More and more, building owners are  expecting savings from green buildings: for new projects, firms report median operating cost savings of 8% over one year and 15% over five years. They also see the value of their buildings go up by 7% according to design and construction firms.