According to a number of recent reports, the future of green building looks bright. The green building market is now valued in the billions for both residential and commercial construction, and forecasts predict significant growth in the coming years. Scientists believe that advances in technology are making large-scale energy use reductions in buildings not only possible, but also economically attractive, and that these reductions bring about co-benefits related to health, the environment, and productivity. And a recent national survey found that over half of Americans feel that Congress and the President should address water pollution, clean energy sources, toxic waste, and air pollution as "very high" or "high" priorities.
And yet, many people remain on the fence about high-performance green building. Two out of every four Americans are not concerned about global warming, in 2013, and the number of Americans who believe it is not happening rose seven percentage points. Debate remains about whether climate change should even be tied to green building, and while home owners say they prioritize energy-efficient building measures, but when given hypothetical money to spend on a project, they overwhelmingly choose more aesthetic upgrades over performance-based projects.
With these contradictions in mind, we wanted to know: How do our readers feel about green building and what's driving their decision-making process in this realm? Do they link global warming or climate change with green building, or are they viewed as separate issues? Who initiates discussions of performance, and what do they think will most influence green building in the near future? We surveyed seven of Hanley Wood's core audience groups—the readers of Affordable Housing Finance, Architect, Builder, Custom Home, Ecobuildingpulse.com, Multifamily Executive, and Residential Architect—and asked: What's driving you when it comes to green building? The answers may surprise you.
In the first of six reports on our findings, below we look at how Ecobuildingpulse.com readers responded to our survey. Stay tuned for individual reports on how architects, multifamily and affordable housing developers, and production and custom home builders feel about green building, along with an overall look at how the audiences compare against one another.
When it comes to sustainable design, Ecobuildingpulse.com readers report: