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New study: AEC industry committed to green building

by Sion Geschwindt
AEC industry committed to green building says new study

The fourth edition of Dodge Analytics’ World Green Building Trends Smart Market Report makes a clear case that the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry is committed to green building.

The findings reveal that architects, engineers, contractors, owners, and investors from around the globe expect to strengthen their adoption of green building practices in the next three years.

28% of all respondents report that most of their building projects qualify as green, and 42% anticipate being at that level by 2024.

The commitment to green building comes from multiple drivers, including:

  • Business Benefits: Building owners and investors report, on average, 10% lower operating costs in the first year and over 16% within five years.
  • Policy: Design and construction practitioners cite the powerful influence of owner demand and environmental regulations on their engagement in green building.
  • Doing The Right Thing: Nearly one third (31%) cite social reasons as an important driver, up from 25% in 2018 where it had been since 2012.
  • Creating Healthier Buildings: This critical driver has been steadily increasing since 2015 and while certainly reinforced by the global pandemic, does not show a spike in the current findings because of it, suggesting a continually growing awareness of the impact of buildings on occupant health.

Jennifer Anderson, chief sustainability officer at Carrier, said: “Carrier has led the green building movement for decades, and we’re pleased to see that the commitment to sustainable buildings, products and services is expected to continue.

“The results of the survey validate a continued emphasis on healthy and sustainable buildings to benefit both people and the planet.”

This year’s report also includes new data on the importance and expected use of several new priorities and approaches to building green.

  • The most important of these approaches is the creation of net-zero/net-positive buildings, ranked in the top three by nearly half (47%) of all global respondents. Nearly as many also expect to create these buildings in the next three years.
  • Three other new approaches to increasing sustainability are expected to be used by more than 40% of the respondents in the next five years: controlling the embodied carbon in buildings, employing strategies to increase resiliency, and engaging in prefabrication and modular construction.

Jim Lynch, senior vice president and general manager at Autodesk Construction Solutions, said: “Reducing the environmental impact of the built environment is mission-critical.

“Digitalisation of the (AEC) industry streamlines workflows, reduces waste and offers a great opportunity to limit greenhouse gas emissions, while also designing and constructing more resilient buildings and infrastructure.

“The industry can use resources more responsibly through improved design coordination, construction planning, building execution and operation. We are optimistic about the future and believe together we can build a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable world.”

Donna Laquidara-Carr, industry insights research director at Dodge Data & Analytics, added: “In the midst of a chaotic year, the consistency and degree of commitment to green building is extremely encouraging and suggests that green building will remain a priority for the foreseeable future.” 

Image credit: Stokkete /Shutterstock

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