Turner Construction Company surveyed over 700 executives from a wide variety of companies involved with real estate – including architect, construction, real estate consulting, corporate owner-occupant, developer, engineering, real estate owner, corporate tenant, and broker/real estate service provider companies.
As summarized in the executive summary of the resulting Green Building Market Barometer 2012 report: almost all companies plan to incorporate at least some green features in upcoming construction projects, with reduction of energy costs and ongoing operation and maintenance costs as a significant driver, although fewer companies are likely to seek LEED© certification.
Highlights of the survey include the following:
- 64% of the owners and developers expect to do new construction projects and 71% expect to undertake renovation projects over the next 12 months (up from 46% and 58% respectively in the 2010 survey).
- 56% of the executives were extremely or very committed to environmentally sustainable practices in their operations, and an additional 30% were somewhat committed.
- Financial factors were cited as being extremely or very important considerations, with 84% citing energy efficiency and ongoing operations and maintenance costs.
- In addition to financial reasons, considerations include: it’s the “right thing to do,” impact on brand/reputation, and customer requirements.
- Additional important considerations are building value and occupancy rates. Two-thirds or more of the executives also mentioned indoor air quality, health and wellbeing of occupants, satisfaction of employees/occupants, impact on brand/reputation and employee productivity.
- Only 37% cited minimizing carbon footprint.
- Despite the widespread commitment to green buildings, only 48% of the executives thought it was extremely or very likely that they would seek LEED certification for new construction (down from 53% in 2010 and 61% in 2008).
- Reasons for not pursuing LEED certification include cost and time required for the certification process, staff time, and overall perceived difficulty.
- 41% would consider using a different rating system – including Energy Star©.
- The length of the payback period and higher construction costs were cited as significant obstacles to green building construction.
- Surprisingly, 44% of the executives said they would accept a five-year payback, and almost 80% said they would accept a payback of five years or longer.
The survey provides some interesting insights into attitudes toward green buildings.