Trends in International Green Building

SmartMarket report explores expectations for green building trends, including consumer demand and expansion.

One of the main benefits to using building information modeling (BIM) software when working on a building project is its ability to foresee a building’s effect on its environment.

In many cases, this includes green analysis—from solar potential to proper window glazing, building owners want to know how to make their structures more efficient.

So how do these owners make buildings greener? A recent report from Dodge Data and Analytics and contributing partner U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) took this challenge and explored current and upcoming trends for the ever-expanding green building industry.


Trends in Green Building

How popular is green building? Even your local Starbucks is LEED certified.

How popular is green building? Even your local Starbucks is LEED certified.

The first point made by the World Green Building Trends 2016 SmartMarket report is that green building is a growing industry. In fact, the report claims that global green building doubles every three years.

“International demand for green building, due in great part to the LEED green building program’s global popularity, has grown steadily over the years,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair of USGBC.

The report claims that increasing consumer demand is responsible for this growth and has pushed the green building market into a trillion-dollar industry. This is good news both for those in green building and for those who supply green building materials.


Green Construction on an International Scale

The report was conducted as a survey in over 60 countries worldwide and includes profiles on specific countries, including Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Singapore, Mexico, the UK and the U.S.

The development of these profiles resulted in two conclusions on expansion:

  • Green construction will expand in emerging economies such as Brazil, Saudi Arabia, India and South Africa.
  • Green construction will continue to expand in developed countries such as the U.S., Germany and the UK.

It’s interesting to note that BIM has a role to play in both conclusions. Germany and the UK have both announced plans to adopt the design and construction process outright and countries such as Brazil and Saudi Arabia are currently establishing a BIM presence with the hope of moving the entire construction industry to the process.

In each case, the software and process strategy offers a distinct advantage for improving the green building industry.


The Economics of Green Building

While it is nice for builders to construct something with minimal environmental impact, it’s important to note that the economy plays a large part in the boom of green building.

Economics can be a powerful motivation in ensuring energy efficiency.

Economics can be a powerful motivation in ensuring energy efficiency.

“Countries are looking for tools that support stable and sustainable economic growth,” Fedrizzi continued. “International business leaders and policy makers recognize that a commitment to transforming the built environment is crucial to addressing major environmental challenges.”

In fact, for many of the countries surveyed for the report, economic forces were cited as the key drivers—and for good reason. Green buildings generally result in lower operational costs compared to conventional structures.

Respondents listed expectations for five-year operational cost savings to reach 14 percent for new green buildings and 13 percent for green retrofit and renovation projects.


The World Green Building Trends 2016 report is available for free download here. For more information, check out the U.S. Green Building Council and Dodge Data and Analytics websites.