Building Survey Shows 'Green' Up, LEED Down


The Third Annual Green Building Survey recently released by Allen Matkins, Constructive Technologies Group (CTG) and the Green Building Insider revealed surprising results about the realm of green construction.

The study utilized the opinions of over 900 professionals involved in green building and LEED certification, and their attitudes toward green building and its risks, costs, certification processes and trends.

“The survey is one of the broadest surveys of green building professionals in the industry and includes design professionals, developers and owners, contractors/subcontractors, claims professionals, consultants and attorneys,” said Bryan Jackson, chair of Allen Matkins’ Green and Sustainable Construction Practice Group.

Balancing green construction costs with the benefits of green is an ongoing discussion within the industry; however, survey responses are consistent with other industry surveys in that the most respondents felt that the cost premium for constructing a green building over a traditional building is less than 4 percent. Also, due to recent increases in energy costs, 74 percent indicated they were more likely to incorporate sustainable elements into future projects.

Other highlights from the survey include:

  • How will building green look as we move further into 2009? Photo:

    How will building green look as we move further into 2009? Photo:

    93.4 percent of survey participants agreed it is worth the time and effort to utilize green building concepts

  • On the other hand, the percentage of those who agree that is it worth obtaining official LEED certification dropped almost 10 percent from the previous year to 66.2 percent

Although further research is necessary, the survey identified several potential reasons for these results:

  • Considering the financial concerns while the study was conducted (late 2008), some respondents may have been hesitant to add any additional fees for services that are not directly associated with traditional bricks and mortar construction costs.
  • Results could reflect increased competition from other certifications. In fact, some newly enacted green building regulations in various jurisdictions do not specify a specific green certification process.
  • Some of these new laws and regulations are focused on carbon footprints and greenhouse gasses, which where not directly addressed by the LEED certification process until 2009.
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