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Home > Feature Articles > Sustainable Development Best Practices for Community Sustainability

Green Building Projections for 2010 - 2020

Green building and certification programs are growing globally, but the question is where, which, and how much. These green building projections can help manufacturers of green building materials and green building professionals plan ahead for the global green building market.

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Around the world, the cumulative building space declared to have achieved some level of green by certification programs as of June, 2010 includes 6 billion square feet. The green building figure will reach about 53 billion square feet by 2020, predicts a study by Pike Research.

To date, most green-certified space has been in the commercial building sector. In many markets, such as Class A office space, green building certification is the standard rather than the exception. And approximately 60% of total net green building space is in existing buildings.

Taking market conditions and regulatory changes into account, commercial buildings will likely represent about 80% of space certified under green building programs in 2020. While LEED and BREEAM will continue to dominate the North American and European green building markets, respectively, newly developed programs in China and India are likely to represent about 30% of all certified green new construction by 2020.

In the next decade, a great deal of major construction of large-scale residential buildings in Asia Pacific, such as China and India, will receive green building certification. So far, certification of existing residential buildings has proven more difficult for homeowners and property managers. Consequently, this segment is likely to represent a small portion of the overall market in the next 10 years.

Green Certification Programs

Green building criteria may include energy efficiency, sustainable materials selection, site location, and indoor environmental quality.

Although many building industry professionals may be familiar with programs such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, there are dozens of green building certification programs in operation around the world for a wide range of building types and sizes.

A few of the green building certification programs include:

  • Building Research Establishment (BRE) - U.K.
  • U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) - U.S.
  • World Green Building Council (World GBC)- Canada
  • Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM)- U.K.
  • India Green Building Council (IGBC) Certifications
  • Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA)
  • ENERGY STAR for Homes and Commercial Buildings - U.S.
  • NABERS - Australia
  • NAHB Green Standard
  • GreenPoint Rated
  • Green Globes
  • Living Building Challenge

Commercial green buildings...80%

Commercial buildings will constitute about 80% of the total figure due to corporations and government agencies requiring their office spaces to be certified, the study said.

Residential Green... not so much, and not so near

The report states that the smaller growth in residential green projects will focus on new construction, particularly large-scale residential developments in China and India

Renovation and remodeling of existing houses will focus on achieving greater energy efficiency, better indoor air quality, and higher recyclable materials content -- but those strategies are a more difficult and costly task than new construction.

According to the Pike Research report, there are three factors for the dramatic expansion in green building space:

  • The brand value associated with social and environmental responsibility
  • The cost benefits of energy efficiency
  • The growing number of laws requiring green ratings for certain building types

The report, which considers new and existing buildings in North America, Asia Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa, predicts green certification programs in China and India akin to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED will certify about 30% of all new construction in 10 years.

Benefits of Certified Green Buildings

Energy efficiency, a central tenet of many green building certification programs, is promoted to decrease operational expenses and reduce the carbon emissions associated with a particular building – a growing concern in many regions around the world.

Sustainable materials selection can improve the quality of the indoor environment by eliminating materials with toxic substances.

On the economic front, certified green buildings and construction that reduces energy use, can sometimes command higher property values and rents, and green building certification can distinguish certain properties in highly competitive real estate markets.

Non-Profit Organizations and Trade Associations

Many non-profit and trade organizations help with training and certification program development and deployment. Here are some of the major organizations supporting green building certification:
  • The Appraisal Institute
  • Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA)
  • Building Research Establishment (BRE)
  • China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development
  • Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI)
  • Habitat for Humanity International
  • National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
  • SB Alliance
  • United States Green Building Council (USGBC)
  • UNEP Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative (SBCI)
  • World Green Building Council
RESOURCE: This article is an excerpt from a larger research report that can be purchased by contacting Pike Research at sales@pikeresearch.com. Pike Research is an independent market research firm that analyzes clean technology markets around the globe. Read the executive summary for more information.

The purpose of the report is not to provide information on green building design and techniques, but to present an outlook on business and regulatory issues that will determine the number of buildings receiving green building certification in the coming years. This report considers all areas of green building activity spanning North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. The forecast model, which includes figures for commercial and residential construction, as well as both new and existing buildings, extends to the year 2020.



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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