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Green Building in U.S. Expected To Double by 2018

Bulk of the Work Expected to Involve Upgrading Institutional Buildings Trailing Global Averages
February 17, 2016
U.S. construction companies say they plan to intensify their green building activity over the next three years, according to the new World Green Building Trends study conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics.

The U.S. also has one of the highest percentages of construction firms expecting to build new green institutional projects and retrofits of existing buildings.

The global study, conducted with support from United Technologies Corp., Saint-Gobain, the U.S. Green Building Council and the Regenerative Network, appears to position the U.S. as a strong participant in the global green movement.

An increasing percentage of respondents projected that more than 60% of their upcoming construction projects would involve green design principles - up from 24% of respondents who reported that in 2015. Respondents projecting that fewer than 15% of their projects would be certified green dropped from 41% in 2015 to 27% by 2018.
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"The strong U.S. industry for green building projects is clearly an opportunity for U.S. firms, but so is the rapid rise of green in many of the developing countries," said Stephen Jones, senior director of industry insights, Dodge Data & Analytics. "Expertise from experienced green designers, builders and manufacturers from the U.S. is likely to be essential to support the aggressive green building expectations revealed by the study respondents."

In the U.S., the highest percentage of respondents report that they expect to most of the green building work will involve new green institutional projects (such as schools, hospitals and public buildings) and green retrofits of existing buildings.

  • 46% of U.S. respondents expect to work on new green institutional buildings, compared to 38% globally; and
  • 43% of U.S. respondents plan to work on green retrofits of existing buildings, again well above the global average of 37%.

    Those numbers fall somewhat when it comes to green building work on private commercial projects, with 41% of respondents expecting to work on green commercial buildings for private developers compared to 46% globally.

    One commercial sector in which the U.S. is notably much lower than the global average is high-rise residential construction. Only 15% of U.S. respondents expect to do green building in this sector, compared to 25% globally.

    The U.S. is also distinguished from the global findings in terms of the importance it places on reducing energy consumption as an environmental reason for building green. Over three quarters (76%) of U.S. respondents consider this to be important, nearly double the percentage of the next most important environmental factor, which is reducing water consumption.

    "The survey shows that global green building activity continues to double every three years," said United Technologies chief sustainability officer John Mandyck. "More people recognize the economic and productivity value that green buildings bring to property owners and tenants, along with the energy and water benefits to the environment, which is driving the green building industry's growth. It's a win-win for people, planet and the economy."

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