U.S. construction companies will ramp up green building activities during the next three years, potentially doubling past efforts to “go green” in the U.S. Commercial Real Estate industry, according to a news report from the CoStar Group.
CoStar cited the new World Green Building Trends study, which named the U.S. as one of the countries with the greatest number of construction firms planning to build new green institutional projects or work on green retrofits of existing buildings. The global study — conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics with support from United Technologies Corp., Saint-Gobain, the U.S. Green Building Council and the Regenerative Network — taps the U.S. as a strong participant in the global green movement.
Survey respondents noted that more than 60% of pending construction projects in the U.S. Commercial Real Estate industry will include green design principles, a significant increase from the 2015 survey, CoStar reported. Respondents who expect less than 15% of projects to be certified green measured 41% in 2015, but dropped to 27% for projections through 2018, according to the report.
The initiative to go green will present great opportunities for U.S. construction companies, as will the growth in green projects in developing countries, a Dodge Data & Analytics executive told CoStar, noting that the expertise of U.S. green designers, builders and manufacturers likely will be needed to support global green expectations.
The survey found that 46% of U.S. respondents anticipate working on new green institutional buildings (schools, hospitals, public buildings, etc.), compared to 38% worldwide, Costar said. In addition, 43% of U.S. respondents expect work on green retrofits of existing buildings, as compared to a global average of 37% for this category, according to the news report.
However, U.S. respondents lagged slightly behind the global average when it comes to green building on private commercial projects, with only 41% of U.S. respondents predicting they will work on certified green commercial projects, compared to 46% globally, CoStar reported.
The one area in which the U.S. fell significantly below global expectations was in high-rise residential construction, with 15% of U.S. respondents planning to go green in this sector in comparison to 25% globally, according to the report.
U.S. respondents also stood apart from the global viewpoint, with 76% of U.S. respondents saying reducing energy consumption was the most important environmental reason to construct green buildings. That finding almost doubled the percentage that called reducing water consumption the next most important environmental reason to go green, CoStar said.
A United Technologies sustainability officer said the study shows more firms in the U.S. Commercial Real Estate industry “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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