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Continued Growth

Over the past several months, it's become evident that the economy has picked up pace to a point where many businesses are thriving and many even have more work than they can handle. It is becoming harder and harder to set aside time to talk to architects and contractors about projects they've completed, or just about business in general.

world green building trends 2016According to the World Green Building Trends 2016 report, released at Greenbuild by Dodge Data & Analytics, with funding from United Technologies Corp., green building construction continues to double every three years. Some of the leading drivers of this growth are client demands, environmental regulations and an enhanced awareness of the occupant and tenant benefits of green building. Additionally, healthier neighborhoods, a higher return on investment and increasing employee recruitment are aiding the abundance of green buildings.

When announcing the report findings, Bob McDonough, president, UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies, said, "It's critical that building industry professionals have the latest data and trends to inform designs and decisions. This information is valuable as we look to accelerate buildings that will foster sustainable, healthy environments."

Also during the conference, Julián Castro, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, noted, "Green building is about reducing energy waste and water use; it's about creating jobs and sparking economic growth; it's also about protecting the health of our children for the future. Green building is also not a slogan, it really is a solution."

More than 1,000 architects, engineers, contractors, owners, specialists and consultants in 69 countries to understand their current green building project involvement and expectations for 2018 were surveyed for the report. In addition to having a higher percentage of architects and contractors participating, the sampling size increased by more than 25 percent from the 2012 study.

The report notes the largest percentage of green building activity continues to be in the commercial building segment, while activity in institutional buildings is expected to surpass the green building projects in existing buildings by 2018. On the other hand, the report also looked at potential barriers to green building development, with half of the respondents saying that higher perceived costs is the top barrier to green building. This is a decline from 80 percent of respondents in 2008 and 76 percent in 2012.

John Mandyck, UTC chief sustainability officer, said the results reinforce what those in the green building industry already know-green buildings are better for the environment, better for business and better for the people inside them. "Green building activity continues to accelerate, with growing awareness of occupant and tenant benefits, speaking to the fact that the real, tangible benefits of green buildings are becoming more widely recognized."

While the full results of the report won't be available until early next year, this bodes well for the industry as we close out 2015.

*Graphic: UTC Climate, Controls & Security

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