Survey: Saving Energy is Top Priority


The Fourth Annual Green Building Survey, published by Allen Matkins, CTG, and Green Building Insider, was just released.  It’s quick and to the point with some interesting perspective on the attitude of design and construction professionals.  That is, green construction and design remains a top priority, while LEED certification may not necessarily carry the same weight.  The survey was conducted in February 2010 and received over 1,600 responses. 

When asked whether it is worth the time and effort to build projects green?  Or, to obtain LEED certification?


The survey found that 92.3% agree that it is worth the time and effort to build green, while only 61.7% feel it is worth the time and effort to obtain LEED certification.  This response shows an increasing gap in sentiment between building green and obtaining certification for the same.  The authors explain that the gap could be caused by current economic conditions, the proliferation of other green building standards, or greener minimum code standards.

When asked about the importance of various factors in building green projects:


The survey found that the top reason for building green was to save energy and other operating costs.  The next best factor was to improve the environment, while factors such as achieving higher rents and improving tenant productivity were important, but not as important as other factors.

When asked about the likelihood of incorporating energy saving elements in future projects:


The survey found that 88% of respondents said they were more likely to incorporate energy saving elements going forward, representing a 14% increase of last year’s survey conducted by the same group.

And, for those respondents that had actually helped to build and certify a LEED-NC project to the Gold level, when asked about the cost premium to achieve LEED Gold certification:


The survey found that 51% of respondents believed the cost premium to be greater than 4%, while 30% of respondents believed the cost premium to be somewhere less than 3%.  Also, respondents seem to agree that obtaining Gold certification for existing buildings would be more expensive than for new construction.

The Green Building Survey also includes some additional survey detail on carbon credits and offsets, green leases, and green development risks, which is good to know.

[+] Download the 4th Annual Green Building Survey.

  • Jason

    I’m not surprised to see saving energy as the most important reason for building green. With rising utility costs, being as energy efficient as possible is becoming priority #1 for builders and homeowners.

    It’s important to reduce current energy use with energy efficiency measures, like Energy Star appliances or outdoor solar lights, before looking into renewable energy sources like geothermal or small-scale wind.

    Why do you think the percentage of builders that think it’s worth it to build green has decreased over the years?

  • Bobby Bragg

    We tell our clients that any energy efficiency measure acts as a financial hedge against rising energy costs! How much did you budget in energy cost increases in 2010? Great stuff @jetsongreen!

  • Sarah Bradford

    Great article Preston! Going green actually not only make sense but it also make cents. I got my home green certified last year by installing solar power, re-doing the windows and installing a number of gadgets that helps me to automate the energy savings process. For example, I replaced all my old power extension blocks with these PwrUSB smart power strips that lets me schedule a calendar regarding when to turn on and off my garden lights, my computers and media center appliances. You can actually reach breakeven on these investment within years if not months!

    Trying to save precious energy and reduce our carbon footprint take will power, efforts and time. But there are so many products that can help us save energy in our everyday lives these days – there shouldn’t be any excuse!

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