Thursday, March 5, 2009

Green Building Survey Results Worth Analyzing

The 3rd Annual Allen Matkins/CTG/Green Building Insider Green Building Survey produced some interesting results. More than 900 green building professionals were surveyed in December 2008 and follow-up interviews were conducted in January 2009. A super majority of respondents (93.4 percent) support green and sustainable construction. Despite this endorsement of building green, just 66.2 percent in 2008 (down from 76 percent in the 2007 survey) of respondents agreed that it was worth obtaining official LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED was perceived as attractive by just two-thirds of green building supporters.

Why the decline in the support of LEED? According to the survey's authors, they believe several factors came into play: financial concerns due to the recent financial meltdown, competition from other certification programs, and LEED's failure to fully address greenhouse gas and a building's carbon impact (items LEED is addressing this year).

The majority of respondents expressed the view that the cost premium for green construction is less than 4 percent, and building owners participating in the survey stated that the greatest risk in green construction for them is not recouping capital costs.

While the survey results did not spell out exactly what sectors the survey respondents represented, the results, I believe, fairly reflect the sentiment of many in the lodging industry. Some companies are sold on LEED while others are not, and recent LEED projects are coming in with less than a 4 percent cost premium. (See recent column on The Nines hotel in Portland, Ore.)

To read the complete results of the survey, click here.

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