While the green building market transformation is focused on numerous cases or arguments to build green, according to the recently published Opening the Door to Green Building market study, the most impactful and effective cases being made are that of energy efficiency.
Over the past year, Sustainable Rhythm conducted the Opening the Door to Green Building study in Ohio, Alberta and the Triangle region of North Carolina engaging over 550 building industry professionals to examine the green building market transformation. This analysis, one of the first of its kind, engaged multiple perspectives to explore issues of the overall market, the perception of the financial investment, the role of certifications and finally how the benefits of green building are being communicated. Sustainable Rhythm partnered with Northeast Ohio Chapter of the USGBC, the NC Triangle Chapter of the USGBC and the Alberta Chapter of the CaGBC along with other building industry associations to promote participation.
Key findings include:
• At least 80% of participants in each region responded that their clients had at least "somewhat embraced" the message of green building;
• At least 46% of participants in each region indicated that they had added internal capacity to meet the green building market needs;
The Case for Green Building
• Participants overwhelmingly identified energy efficiency and cost reduction as the best-communicated and the most impactful drivers to pursue green building;
• Though the drivers of improving health benefits and increasing productivity are impactful on the decision to pursue green building, the participants in each region indicated that the case or evidence to support these two areas is the weakest;
• Less than 33% in each region indicated that regulatory or environmental drivers are seen as impactful factors for implementation;
• At least 58% of participants in each region perceive a significant cost premium for green building over traditional design and construction methods;
• Over 50% of all participants identified the premium to build green over traditional methods between 10-25% higher;
• Over 50% of all participants believe that there is a significant ROI for green building
• Only 30% or less in each region of feel that they understand the current landscape of certifications and rating systems;
• Participants were especially critical of the product certification market even as the role of these certifications becomes more significant in the specification process;
• Participants expressed a great deal of fatigue with “green” buzzwords;
• Over 60% of participants, in their role as buyers or specifiers, feel that the benefits of green building are not being communicated well;
• Participants identified professional associations, specs, and web resources as the most effective channels to receive information on green building.
The complete study as well as individual region reports can be found at http://sustain-rhythm.com/ODGB/ODGB.html.