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New Report Highlights Latest Global Green Building Trends and Projections

The World Green Building Trends 2016 study surveyed 1,000 building professionals from 69 countries, building on 2008 and 2012 research

Green building continues to double every three years, with strongest acceleration in emerging economies, and clients and tenants worldwide increasingly demanding sustainability – for both energy efficiency and occupant benefit. These findings and others from the World Green Building Trends 2016 report by Dodge Data & Analytics, with funding from United Technologies, were announced today by Bob McDonough, President, UTC Climate, Controls & Security at the 2015 Greenbuild International Summit in Washington, D.C. UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a leading provider of heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems, building controls and automation, and fire and security systems, is a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).

“It’s critical that building industry professionals have the latest data and trends to inform designs and decisions,” said McDonough. “This information is valuable as we look to accelerate buildings that will foster sustainable, healthy environments.”

The new report surveyed more than 1,000 architects, engineers, contractors, owners, specialists and consultants in 69 countries to understand their current green building project involvement and expectations for 2018. In addition to expanding the sample size by more than 25 percent over the 2012 study, the new report also has a higher percentage of architect and contractor participation across a larger number of countries.

“The greater engagement by practitioners reflects the current green building environment,” said Stephen A. Jones, Senior Director of Industry Insights, Dodge Data & Analytics. “Their responses demonstrate that sustainability continues to have a transformative effect on design and construction professionals globally.”

The findings, which will be fully available in early 2016, reaffirm 2008 and 2012 research that green building is doubling every three years and introduce new trends, the latest drivers and barriers for green building.

Green Building Trends

  • Across all regions studied, respondents increasingly projected that more than 60 percent of their projects would be green projects by 2018, with a doubling from current projects across the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, South America and Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The largest percentage of green building activity continues to be in the commercial building segment, comprising 46 percent of respondents’ future green building projects.
  • Activity in institutional buildings – schools, hospitals and public buildings – is expected to surpass green building projects in existing buildings (38 and 37 percent respectively) by 2018.

Green Building Drivers

  • Forty percent of respondents noted client demands as a driver for green building activity, followed by environmental regulations (35 percent). Both categories increased over 2008 and 2012 responses.
  • An enhanced awareness of the occupant and tenant benefits of green buildings emerged in the 2016 report, with healthier neighborhoods (15 percent), higher return on investment (11 percent) and employee recruitment (5 percent) increasing as drivers.
  • Regarding social motivators, respondents ranked encouraging sustainable business practices as the most important benefit of green building (68 percent), followed by its ability to support the domestic economy, create a sense of community and increase worker productivity (all 50 percent or higher).
  • From an environmental perspective, reducing energy consumption (84 percent) and reducing water consumption (76 percent) topped the list as important.

“These results reinforce what those in the green building industry already know – green buildings are better for the environment, better for business and better for the people within them,” said John Mandyck, UTC Chief Sustainability Officer. “Green building activity continues to accelerate, with growing awareness of occupant and tenant benefits, speaking to the fact that the real, tangible benefits of green buildings are becoming more widely recognized.”

The survey also examined potential barriers to green building development. Among the findings, half of survey respondents noted higher perceived costs as the top barrier to green building, a notable decline from 80 percent of respondents in 2008 and 76 percent in 2012. Other barriers differ by country. Developing countries regard lack of public awareness and lack of political support as a key barrier, while in the U.K., the perception that green is for high-end projects only was cited.

“There is some work to do, but this data shows the benefits of green buildings are real. Roughly 70 percent of survey respondents cite lower operating costs as the greatest benefit – and these results provide a roadmap to continue growing this important segment,” added McDonough. “It becomes a cycle as building owners seek to create healthy, energy-efficient and productive environments – as a selling point to tenants.”

Full results from the World Green Building Trends 2016 report, which was also supported by the U.S. Green Building Council and Saint Gobain, are expected in early 2016. In the meantime, more information is available in the United Technologies booth, #1905, at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, Nov. 18-19, online at, and on Twitter: @UTC_CCS.

About UTC Climate, Controls & Security
UTC Climate, Controls & Security is a leading provider of heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems, building controls and automation, and fire and security systems leading to safer, smarter, sustainable and high-performance buildings. UTC Climate, Controls & Security is a unit of United Technologies Corp., a leading provider to the aerospace and building systems industries worldwide. For more information, visit or follow @UTC_CCS on Twitter.