Originally published in Interiors & Sources

11/14/2012

More Green, Less LEED?

 
The focus on green and sustainable continues to increase, but will certifcation programs take a hit moving into 2013?

Turner Construction Company has announced the results of a new Market Barometer survey focused on green building and sustainable practices in general. Key findings revealed that companies remain committed to constructing green buildings. While executives remained committed to incorporating sustainable building practices into their building programs, fewer said their companies were likely to seek LEED certification from the US Green Building Council when constructing a green building. 

Brightening Outlook for Construction Projects
Among real estate owners, developers, and corporate owner-occupants, 64% said they expect to undertake new construction projects over the next 12 months (up from 46% in the 2010 survey), and 71% said they expect to undertake renovation projects over the same period (up from 58% in the 2010 survey).

Widespread Commitment to Sustainable Practices
Ninety percent of respondents said their companies were committed to environmentally-sustainable practices. Of that percentage, 56% of executives said their companies were extremely or very committed to following environmentally-sustainable practices in their operations, while an additional 34% said they were somewhat committed.  In addition to citing financial reasons for this commitment, executives were most likely to cite broader considerations as extremely or very important including belief that it's the 'right thing to do,' (68%), impact on brand/reputation (67%), and customer requirements (61%), along with cost savings (66%).

Reducing Energy Costs and Operating Expenses are the Key Drivers to Green Construction
Executives were most likely to cite financial factors as being important to their companies' decisions on whether to incorporate green features in a construction project. Respondents indicated that energy efficiency (84%) and ongoing operations and maintenance costs (84%) were extremely or very important to their decisions.

More than two-thirds of executives also said that non-financial factors were extremely or very important including indoor air quality (74%), health and well-being of occupants (74%), satisfaction of employees/occupants (69%) and employee productivity (67%). However, only 37% of executives said it was extremely or very important to their companies to minimize the carbon footprint of their buildings.

This suggests that the decision to incorporate green features is driven by a desire to reduce cost followed by an interest to improve the indoor environment for building occupants, rather than broader concerns about the impact of buildings on the global environment.


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