HPAC Magazine

New Report Highlights Canadian Interest in Building Green

More than 1,200 industry professionals around the world were surveyed for the report.

November 15, 2021   Logan Caswell

U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced the results of the 2021 World Green Building Trends report.  The report shows green building continues to remain a global priority, despite rising concerns like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Industry professionals surveyed source both social and financial reasons for increasing their green building efforts with top reasons including lowering operating costs, lowering carbon emissions, reducing energy and water consumption, market demand, building healthier buildings, living up to internal corporate commitments and that it’s the “right thing to do.”

Respondents stated that they have shifted their focus on strategies to specifically address reducing energy consumption and the carbon footprint of building projects with creating net-zero/net-positive buildings as the top priority. Doing so reflects the recognition that only by making the built environment carbon-neutral can the goal to minimize the impacts of climate change be achieved.

Additionally, the report shows how the pandemic has had an impact on the green building sector with many survey respondents saying that the ways in which the built environment can encourage or discourage the spread of airborne disease like COVID-19. Respondents noted that messaging about increasing filtered air exchange in buildings directly influenced their choice of HVAC system while social distancing impacted building design.

In the report respondents in Canada selected the following at the top types of green building projects they will design and construct over the next three-years:

  • Existing Buildings/Retrofits 54%
  • New Institutional Construction 40%
  • New Commercial Construction 33%

Other findings of the report include:

  • Over half of those doing a majority of green projects plan to incorporate resilience strategies into their projects in the next five years.
  • Most respondents (82%) are at least aware of the concept of embodied carbon – emissions from manufacture, transportation, installation, maintenance and disposal of building materials – with contractors and owners as less familiar with embodied carbon than architects and engineers.
  • The vast majority (79%) of those building green use at least one metric to track green building performance, an increase of five points since 2018.
  • About half of respondents engage in green renovation/retrofit projects, with most investors engaged in this work.

The report was published by the Dodge Construction network. More than 1,200 industry professionals, including engineers, architects/designers, contractors, owners, developers, inventors and consultants around the world were surveyed for the report.

The full report can be found here.

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