November 08, 2012
Respondents Indicated a Widespread Commitment to Sustainable Practices
Company, recognized as the leading
general builder and the largest green builder in the United States, today
announced the results of a new Market Barometer survey that focused on
environmentally-sustainable, or “Green,” building, and on 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
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
More than half of executives said their companies would be extremely or very likely to invest in improved indoor environmental quality (63%), improved water efficiency (57%), and Green materials (53%) if they were undertaking a construction project.
“Energy efficiency figures prominently in the decision-making process of green building primarily because of its large economic impact. Water efficiency in Green construction was seen as less important. This is in spite of a growing awareness that water is a finite resource, both in its operational use and its role in the production of goods and materials. While the direct economic impact of water efficiency is less than the savings on energy, its environmental impact is quite significant,” said Michael Deane, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer at Turner Construction.
Fewer Companies Plan to Seek LEED Certification
Although the vast majority of companies remain committed to Green buildings, the percentage of executives who thought it was extremely or very likely that their company would seek LEED certification if they constructed a Green building was only 48%, down from 53% in the 2010 survey and 61% in the 2008 survey. Among executives who said their companies were not likely to seek LEED certification, the most important reasons cited were the cost of the certification process (82%), staff time required (79%), time required for the process (75%), and the overall perceived difficulty of the process (74%). It is apparent that in the last four years many companies seem to have become more knowledgeable about the means and methods of designing and constructing Green buildings and are less reliant on LEED as a checklist or a scorecard. This is indicated by the fact that 52% of executives who are not likely to seek LEED certification would prefer to use their own company’s green building standards. At the same time, 41% of executives thought it was at least somewhat likely that their companies would consider seeking certification under a rating system other than LEED if they constructed a Green building. Of those executives who indicated they would consider another system, 63% said they would be extremely or very likely to consider seeking certification under ENERGY STAR, which again highlights the importance of energy efficiency. It should be noted that building owners may elect to certify under more than one rating system.
“We’ve seen from our own work and the continuing growth of the green building market that in spite of this reduction in enthusiasm for LEED certification, respondents are still building green,” said Deane. “While some respondents are relying on their own standards or are considering another rating system, LEED certification remains the most widely used third party verification of achievement that is recognized by consumers and that can be used to market and promote a property.”
Concerns Persist about Construction Costs and the Length of the Payback Period
When asked what length of payback period would be acceptable when considering Green features, 44% of executives said they would accept five years and almost 80% of executives said they would accept a payback period of five years or longer. Despite the acceptance by most executives of an extended payback period, 61% of executives still felt that the length of the payback period was an extremely or very significant obstacle to the construction of Green buildings while 62% cited higher construction costs.
About the Survey
Turner’s 2012 Green
Building Market Barometer surveyed 718 executives in October 2012. The
executives participating in the survey were from the following principal types
of companies: architecture (49%), construction (19%), real estate consulting
(11%), corporate owner-occupant (9%), developer (9%), engineering (9%), real
estate owners (7%), corporate tenant (3%), and broker/real estate service
provider (2%), (These percentages total to more than 100% since some companies
were involved in more than one industry segment.)
As in the 2010
survey, email invitations were sent to subscribers of several real estate
publications. The percentage of respondents who came from email invitations
sent to subscribers of Environmental Design & Construction was
significantly greater in the 2012 survey (83%) than in the 2010 survey (34%).
In general, subscribers to this publication were more positive about Green
buildings than other respondents. To gain a more representative picture of
industry perceptions and to ensure comparability with the prior survey, the
2012 data were weighted so that the responses of subscribers to Environmental Design & Construction
had the same weight as they did in the 2010 survey.
To view the full report, please send an email to: email@example.com
About Market Barometer
Since 2005, Turner
Construction has conducted bi-annual surveys of executives on Green
building issues. The surveys provide insight into how industry executives view
environmentally-sustainable buildings and the growing awareness of its
importance in today’s construction industry. The surveys show how opinions on
the subject have evolved and give an indication of trends by comparing
responses to similar questions over time. As the leading green builder in the
US, Turner believes that it is of great importance to monitor attitudes and
opinions on this subject.
Click here, to download the Executive Summary of Turner's 2012 Green Market Barometer
For Services / Specializations
and Additional Key Contacts
See Office Network
*Office includes a Special
Projects Division or Interiors