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Businesses Believe in Green Building Benefits, according to Report from McGraw-Hill Construction

Written by Peter L. Mosca on Tuesday, 30 December 2008 6:00 pm

While building 'green' may still cost more upfront, many building industry professionals realize that the health benefits, employee productivity, and the overall positive impact to the environment far outweigh the initial fees. Better yet, environmental responsibility and green building eventually will lead to lower operating costs and increased revenue for building operators and owners. A new report by industry giant McGraw-Hill Construction backs these assumptions, showing an increase in the perceived value of green building among architects, engineering firms, contractors and owners over the last three years, especially the financial benefits.

“Clearly, companies have been seeing green buildings pay off. In every area of business performance, the entire industry -- including owners -- is reporting benefits. This speaks to green buildings being equated with good business as well as responsible social practices," said Harvey M. Bernstein, Vice President of Industry Analytics, Alliances and Strategic Initiatives at McGraw-Hill Construction, a part of The McGraw-Hill Companies, "The market has exploded. It is exciting to watch the green building transformation and the ways it has surpassed expectations in just three years."

Here is a quick look at the findings of McGraw-Hill's latest SmartMarket Report, "Commercial and Institutional Green Building:"

  • Decreases of 13.6% in operating costs from green building (up from 8.5% in 2005, a 60% increase)

  • Increases of 10.9% in building values from green (up from 7.5% in 2005, a 45% increase)

  • Increases of 9.9% in ROI from green (up from 6.6% in 2005, a 50% increase).

"Green buildings save energy and save money," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO, and Founding Chairman, U.S. Green Building Council. "Greening existing buildings offers an unprecedented opportunity to contribute energy efficiency gains that can have a huge impact on our overall energy use."

The report was produced in conjunction with the U.S. Green Building Council as an update to the 2005 Green Building SmartMarket Report. Other major findings include:

  • 77% of the industry expects revenues to grow as a result of green building.

  • Education is posing a tremendous opportunity for green building, with architects, engineers and contractors reporting that the largest share of their green work in 2013 will be from the education sector.

  • Nearly two-thirds of the industry report that publicity is a major reason for going green, up from only 44% in 2005. This growth signifies how much more attention green is now getting from the media.

  • Green building products are becoming more common in use - further proof of the widespread adoption of green. New products are also emerging to serve this growing market.

  • Mechanical products still have the strongest brand recognition among green products, followed by green plumbing and building automation systems, but brand recognition percentages are still low, thus affording significant marketing and branding opportunities.

Green practices are beginning to take root and grow. With financial benefits being realized and understood by more and more industry professionals, environmental responsibility and sustainability appear to be headed toward commonplace in the building and constriction industry.

[Note: To order a copy of the report, visit this site .

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