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World Green Building Trends: Developing Markets Accelerate Global Green Growth

Posted by Content Coordinator on Friday, December 4th, 2015



The World Green Building Trends 2016 study focuses on the growth of green globally with a total of over 1,000 survey participants from 69 countries. Where the previous studies conducted in 2008 and 2012 relied primarily on responses from GBC members, this new study features a higher proportion of design and construction practitioners, like architects and contractors, who are not GBC members, demonstrating the exciting expansion of green around the world. The high level of response supports statistically significant analysis of data from 13 countries: Brazil, China, Colombia, Germany, India, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, UK and US. In all, this study offers the most comprehensive survey of global construction markets to date on the level of activity, drivers and benefits of green building. Percentage of Respondents Who Are Doing/Expect to Do More Than 60% Green Projects by Country


The percentage of firms expecting to have more than 60% of their projects certified green is anticipated to nearly double from 17% currently to 33% by 2018. This is a similar pattern to the growth in activity expected in 2012, although the greater share of respondents from developing markets and the shift from a majority to a minority of GBC participants yields lower levels of activity than was reported in 2012.

As the chart at right demonstrates, the aniticipated growth is largely driven by countries that still have developing green markets. Mature markets in the US, Europe and Australia report moderate levels of growth, but respondents from Asia, the MENA region (Middle East/North Africa), Sub-Saharan Africa and South America report much more dramatic growth in the percentage of their projects that they expect to certify as green.

Top Triggers for Green Building (All Respondents)Sectors With Greatest Expected Growth

In the 2012 study, commercial construction was by far the most dominant sector for green growth, with existing buildings a distant second. In the current study, while commercial construction is still the largest sector for anticipated green activity, the gap between it and institutional construction is only a few percentage points, with existing buildings a close third.

Expected sectors for green vary by country.

  • Commercial Building: Around 60% of respondents from Colombia, India and Mexico report that they expect to be doing green commercial building in the next three years. For developing green markets or those without strict regulations, business benefits can lead commercial construction to be the vanguard for green.
  • Institutional Building: Over 40% of respondents in Saudi Arabia, Singapore and the US report that they will be doing green institutional building in the next three years. Mandates, either governmentwide or by department, can allow institutional building to provide demonstrations of green benefits to the larger industry.
  • Existing Buildings: In six countries—Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, UK and US—over 40% of respondents expect to conduct green retrofits in existing buildings, suggesting broad interest in the value of green retrofits globally.


Three quarters (75%) of respondents are tracking metrics on the benefits of their green buildings, a 12 percentage-point jump over those doing so in 2012. The higher degree of measurement reaffirms the strong benefits noted in 2012, which are largely equaled or surpassed in the current study. For the median responses from 2012 and the current study, see the table on the following page.


While client demand has been consistently important, it takes a significant leap in 2015 as one of the top triggers driving future green activity, from 35% to 40%. Clearly, recognition by owners of the benefits of green is critical to sustaining green market growth globally.

Environmental regulations also experienced an uptick in the percentage who selected it as a top trigger, driven by a high level of response from a few regions, including India, Singapore and the UK.

Download full version (PDF): World Green Building Trends 2016

About Dodge Data & Analytics
Dodge Data & Analytics is the leading provider of data, analytics, news and intelligence serving the North American construction industry.  The company’s information enables building product manufacturers, general contractors and subcontractors, architects and engineers to size markets, prioritize prospects, target and build relationships, strengthen market positions, and optimize sales strategies.

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