Green building is growing in all parts of the world, creating market opportunities in both established as well as developing countries. By promoting greater efficiencies for energy and water, green buildings lower 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 the commercial as well as educational sector, and redefining expectations for building operations, worker productivity and student performance in the future.
Doing Well by Doing Good
The increasing focus on sustainability from building owners will be a significant driver of market growth—as owners look to compete and offer tenants healthy, productive environments. The key driver to going green, according to the McGraw Hill Construction study, is that green building is now a business imperative around the world. In the 2008 report, McGraw-Hill Construction found that the top driver for green building was “doing the right thing.” However in 2012, business drivers, such as client and market demand, are the key factors influencing the market.
Green buildings also garner business benefits for building owners. For new green building projects, firms report median operating cost savings of 8 per cent over one year and 15 per cent over five years, as well as increased building values of 7 per cent and higher asset valuation of 5 per cent.
Opportunity in Existing Stock
The UK’s appetite for green construction is one of the healthiest in Europe. In fact, the UK is only second to Singapore in green building projects. In the United Kingdom and Singapore, green renovation projects were planned by the greatest number of firms at 65 and 69 per cent respectively. Forty-five per cent of UK architects, engineers, and contractors surveyed claimed to be ‘heavily involved’ in green building – defined as delivering more than 60 per cent of green building work as a total proportion of their general output. This is compared with 23 per cent in Norway, 17 per cent in Germany and 19 per cent on average across all other European countries surveyed.
Given the UK’s well established building stock, the most significant opportunities for green building are emerging through existing building renovations and retrofits, with 65 per cent of UK firms citing this as a focus.
The data shows that green buildings are good business decisions and good environmental decisions, while helping to boost the health, productivity and performance of the people in those buildings.