The Future Build

Global Green Building Market Expected To Double By 2018, Study Finds



Global green building is expected to double by 2018, according to a new study from Dodge Data & Analytics and United Technologies Corporation, on which the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) was a research partner.

The study, World Green Building Trends 2016, Developing Markets Accelerate Global Green Growth, finds that the percentage of companies expecting to have more than 60 per cent of their building projects certified green is anticipated to more than double by 2018, from 18 per cent currently, to 37 per cent.

The anticipated growth will largely be driven by countries that still have developing green markets, with firms from Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, China and India reporting dramatic growth in the percentage of their projects that they expect to certify as green. 

The study, produced in partnership with United Technologies Corporation, a member of WorldGBC’s Corporate Advisory Board, and with additional support from the US Green Building Council and Saint-Gobain, also on WorldGBC’s Corporate Advisory Board, features the results of more than 1,000 survey participants from 69 countries – including Green Building Councils and their corporate members, from architects and contractors, to owners and engineers.

It follows an earlier study from 2012, which Green Building Councils also contributed to. For that study, as with this one, a green project is identified as one that is either certified or built to qualify for certification under a recognised green standard, such as LEED, BREEAM and Green Star.

Other key findings from the report include: 

  • Global green building continues to double every three years.
  • Brazil expects six-fold growth in the percentage of companies that expect to certify the majority of their projects green (from 6 per cent to 36 per cent); five-fold growth is expected in China (from 5 per cent to 28 per cent); and four-fold growth is expected in Saudi Arabia (from 8 per cent to 32 percent).
  • Building owners report seeing a median increase of 7 per cent in the value of their green buildings compared to traditional buildings (an increase that is consistent between new green buildings and those that are renovated green).
  • The most widely reported benefit globally is lower operating costs. But around 30 per cent of respondents also consider documentation and certification providing quality assurance, education of occupants about sustainability, and higher value at the point of sale as additional benefits which are important in their markets.
  • The top sector for green building growth globally is commercial construction, with nearly half (46 per cent) of all respondents expecting to do a green commercial project in the next three years.
  • Reducing energy consumption continues to be the top environmental reason for building green (selected as one of the top two reasons by 66 per cent of all respondents), protecting natural resources ranked second globally (37 per cent), and reducing water consumption ranks third (at 31 per cent).

Terri Wills, CEO of WorldGBC, and who is interviewed as a thought leader in the study, said: “This study offers further evidence on the strong business case for green building – the growth of which is now truly a global phenomenon. Green building is playing a critical role in the development of many emerging economies, particularly as their populations grow and create a pressing need for a built environment that is both sustainable and ensures a high quality of life.

“Green Building Councils and their members around the globe will play a pivotal role in delivering this projected growth, and their leadership and expertise will be vital in realising the multiple social, economic and environmental benefits that green buildings offer.”

John Mandyck, Chief Sustainability Officer at United Technologies Corporation, said: “The environmental benefits of green buildings are driving demand in the U.S. and globally. We also increasingly see the industry recognise green buildings’ tangible benefits for tenants and occupants. Highlighting the environmental and economic value of green buildings is a key factor in the industry’s continued growth – a win-win for business, people and the planet.”

Pascal Eveillard, Director for Sustainable Habitat at Saint-Gobain, said: “At Saint-Gobain, we try harder every day to improve people’s lives while meeting global challenges of growth, energy efficiency and environmental protection. We have long been convinced that sustainability is a major trend in the construction market. The World Green Building Trends 2016 report is comforting us, as it shows that it is a market expected to double by 2018.”

Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and Founding Chair of USGBC, said: “As this report shows, international demand for green building, due in great part to the LEED green building program’s global popularity, has grown steadily over the years. Countries are looking for tools that support stable and sustainable economic growth. International business leaders and policy makers recognise that a commitment to transforming the built environment is crucial to addressing major environmental challenges.”


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