Next Decade to Host Major Increases in Green Certifications

March 4, 2011

A recent report by Pike Research finds encouraging trends that will greatly expand the cumulative square footage of green certified buildings by 2020.

Currently, existing buildings account for 60% of all green certification worldwide. Over the next 10 years, certifications between existing and new buildings will each level out to 50% due to projected gains in new construction. Existing buildings will account for 25 billion square feet of new green certifications. This will increase the total certified footprint to 53 billion square feet, 80% of which will be awarded to commercial properties.

The study identified three key motivations for green certification:

  • Increased attention to environmental responsibility in conjunction with growing corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs.
  • An opportunity to decrease operational expenses, particularly through energy efficiency.
  • Growing numbers of regulatory requirements mandating green construction.

According to research analyst Eric Bloom, green building certification has pulled ahead in the real estate market by becoming a strong differentiation factor. This competitive edge will only become more pronounced in the next decade. Green credits have also become a standard for Class-A office spaces, particularly in cities looking to attract multinational corporations.

While there are dozens of green certification programs available, LEED will remain a dominant force and will represent 40% of green buildings by 2020. This is aided by the North American market, which continues to be a leader in green construction. Both the international LEED and BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) programs have and will continue to see the most growth in new construction. B

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