New report shows Canadian green building market growing steadily with owners seeing strong benefits from building green

The Canadian green building market is poised to see strong growth over the next three years, with surveyed Canadian firms expecting to grow their green practices from one third in 2014, to one half by 2017. These findings are part of a new report titled Canada Green Building Trends: Benefits Driving the New and Retrofit Market, prepared by McGraw Hill Construction, commissioned by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), and sponsored by Oxford Properties Group, REALpac, and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.

Among its many findings, the report demonstrates that companies that invest in green buildings are seeing significant dividends on their investments, including:

  • 82 per cent of building owners and developers reported decreases in energy consumption in their green buildings compared to similar buildings.
  • 68 per cent of building owners and developers reported decreases in water consumption in their green buildings.
  • The median reduction in operating costs over five years for green buildings reported by the firms included in the research is 17 per cent.
  • The median payback for the investment in a new green building is reported to be eight years, a finding consistent with paybacks on studies McGraw Hill has conducted in the U.S. and globally.

In addition, green renovation projects increase building asset values, with a four per cent median increase reported by architects and owners that have worked on green building projects. This is consistent with data reported globally and in the U.S. in previous studies conducted by McGraw Hill Construction, and it contributes to mounting evidence that green buildings have stronger value in the real estate marketplace.

While the above financial benefits are critical to the growth of green building in Canada, other triggers and social factors play an important role as well.

  • Client demand and ‘doing the right thing’ were the top triggers for future green building in the Canadian construction market with 42 per cent of respondents selecting these triggers as one of their top two. This emphasis on a combination of business and social motives is helping to propel the strong performance of green building in the next few years, as predicted by surveyed building owners, architects and contractors
  • 60 per cent of the survey respondents, who conducted green building projects, consider the ability of green buildings to promote greater health and well-being among occupants to be the most important social reason that they chose to invest in green.

Survey respondents also recognized that building green is key to the creation of high performing buildings.

  • 62 per cent of the building owners, architects and contractors surveyed considered having a higher-quality building as an important benefit of green building.
  • 73 per cent of the firms that use a green building rating system report that better performing buildings are an important benefit of using a rating system.

These and other findings are available in the Canada Green Building Trends: Benefits Driving the New and Retrofit Market Report through the CaGBC. To view a copy, visit the CaGBC website.

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