Global green building activity up, but not always certified

According to the World Green Building Trends 2018 report, more people will be making the majority (over 60%) of their building projects green buildings, however, not all of those will be certified projects. So although green activity is increasing, strategic certification is taking place.

“The gap among those doing the majority of their projects green and those who are actually seeking certification on the majority of their projects is expected to grow between 2018 and 2021,” says the report from Dodge Data and Analytics.

Globally, client demands, environmental regulations and the desire for healthier buildings are the top drivers for future green building activity.

The higher cost (real or perceived) of building green still remains the top barrier globally and in South Africa. Lack of political support and lack of public awareness were also highlighted as major barriers, but the degree to which each of these top three barriers is influential varies from country to country.

South Africa – retrofit projects will lead

The report showed that lower operating costs is the top driver for future green buildings in South Africa, where the costs of utilities continue to increase.

Healthier buildings were also one of the top drivers in South Africa, as improved occupant health and wellbeing is one of the top two social reasons for building green, along with promoting sustainable business practices.

The biggest growth sector highlighted for South Africa is green retrofit projects. About 49% of SA respondents expect to do green retrofit projects, compared to 37% global average. “The drop in new building construction in SA and the need for new building owners to fully leverage their assets, retain tenants and building values, is closely linked to the expectation that renovations of existing buildings will be the top sector for green building in this market,” says the report.

Interestingly, South Africa also emerged as one of the countries with shorter payback periods green retrofit and renovation projects, with an average five-year payback period. This compares with countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia with four year payback periods, and at the other end of the spectrum countries like the UK with a 12-year payback period and Ireland with 11 years.

South Africa specific data features on p. 66-67 of the report.

Share your thoughts on the report on the Open Source Green Forum!

The World Green Building Trends 2018 report was released on 13 November 2018.

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