Green building continues to be a major market differentiator and employee wellness is becoming more important for building occupants, according to the second annual survey by construction management firm Structure Tone. However, a common barrier stands in the way of fulfilling these trends in facilities – cost, which was listed as a major hurdle for the second year in a row.
The survey was sent to a group of senior corporate real estate and facilities management professionals for a broader look at sustainability in the marketplace. Questions gauged the participants’ opinions of green certification systems like LEED, challenges associated with green building and emerging pressure to address wellness and climate change in the built environment.
“This year’s survey results show us that while the real estate industry’s general position on sustainability has remained largely the same as last year, attitudes are starting to shift when it comes to certain aspects,” says Jennifer Taranto, Director of Sustainability at Structure Tone. “Wellness is certainly coming to the forefront, and resilience, at least in the private sector, seems to have taken a back seat.”
Results from the 2017 survey include:
- Zero respondents consider green building a fad, but cost is considered the top barrier that keeps FMs from adopting sustainable solutions.
- Wellness is a focus in facilities, as 80% of respondents consider employee wellness to be an important factor in recruitment and retention, and more than 50% reported that they plan to seek external expertise to incorporate wellness into their buildings.
LEED is still considered the top certification organization, as 62% of respondents identified LEED as a valuable market differentiator, a 9% increase from last year.
Climate change and resilience are less of a focus this year, as 17% fewer respondents reported seeking resilience expertise for their projects.