There is a clear case to be made that the design and construction industry is committed to green building. According to the fourth edition of the World Green Building Trends SmartMarket Report, more than a quarter (28%) of all respondents report that most of their building projects qualify as green, with almost half (42%) anticipating that they’ll be at that same level within the next three years.
Running since 2012 with major support coming from founding partner Carrier, as well as Autodesk, the American Institute of Architects and the U.S. Green Building Council, the report has long since shown how green building provides powerful financial benefits, in addition to social and environmental improvements. However, the degree of engagement this year is particularly meaningful.
Like other industries, design and construction have been profoundly affected by many different priorities. The more recent supply chain shortages have shaken the way in which many work, while rising concern globally over social equity and other major social issues from the past year have caused many to rethink the way in which the built environment caters to communities.
This is also compounded by the fact that both industries are and will continue to grapple with the long-term after effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for the foreseeable future.
“In the midst of a chaotic year, the consistency and degree of commitment to green building is extremely encouraging,” said Donna Laquidara-Carr, Ph.D., LEED AP, Industry Insights Research Director at Dodge Data & Analytics. “This suggests that green building will remain a priority for the foreseeable future.”
More on the Report’s Findings
The are many reasons as to why both industries continue to commit themselves to green building. According to the report:
- Building owners and investors report, on average, 10% lower operating costs in the first year and over 16% within five years when measuring green building costs versus traditional.
- Design and construction practitioners cite the powerful influence of owner demand and environmental regulations on their engagement in green building.
- Nearly one third (31%) cite social reasons as an important driver for engaging in green building, up from 25% in 2018 where it had been since 2012.
- Creating healthier buildings has been steadily increasing since 2015 and while certainly reinforced by the global pandemic, does not show a spike in the current findings because of it, suggesting a continually growing awareness of the impact of buildings on occupant health.
This year’s report also includes new data on the importance and expected use of several new priorities and approaches to building green. For instance:
- The creation of net-zero/net-positive buildings was ranked in the top three by nearly half (47%) of all global respondents. Nearly as many also expect to create these buildings in the next three years.
- Three other new approaches to increasing sustainability are expected to be used by more than 40% of the respondents in the next five years: controlling the embodied carbon in buildings, employing strategies to increase resiliency, and engaging in prefabrication and modular construction.
Check out the Full Report
Additionally, the report goes into detail on the more social and environmental factors driving green building, the current roadblocks on the way to full implementation of green building, the current and expected use of green building products and systems and the overall impact COVID-19 has had on buildings.
It also features regional findings from Australia and New Zealand, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, Canada and the U.S., and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The full report is available for free download at www.construction.com.