A new report on the state of the green building market in Australia and New Zealand has found that sustainability measures have emerged as an unmistakable part of the mainstream industry practices over the past five years.
BCI Economic’s latest report on the green building markets of Australia and New Zealand in 2014 surveyed the opinions and experiences with respect to green building of over 200 developers, architects, builders and subcontractors in both countries during the period from March to May 2014.
The overwhelming majority of respondents indicated that they had worked on projects with green building aspects at some point during the period from 2008 to 2014; roughly 90 per cent of surveyed industry practitioners in Australia, and just over 80 per cent in New Zealand.
For Australia, this is a significant increase compared to the figures logged for previous years, which have hovered at between 83 and 85 per cent since reporting first commenced in 2006.
Stark disparities emerge when this figure is broken down by state, however. In the ACT, the Northern Territory, Queensland and Tasmania, 100 per cent of respondents said that they had worked on projects involving sustainability measures at some point during the past six years.
For NSW and Victoria the figures were 94 per cent and 91 per cent respectively, while in Western Australia green building participation was 81 per cent. South Australia came last, with involvement in green building falling to 75 per cent in 2014 from a high of 89 per cent in 2008, and 86 per cent in 2010.
Two of the chief motivations behind the adoption of green building principles amongst industry professionals in both countries were economic, these being reductions in lifecycle costs and increases in the building value or marketability of a project.
A third major motivation cited by respondents was environmental awareness, and a desire to help reduce the effects of climate change.
Despite the widespread involvement of industry professionals in green building projects, certification levels still remain surprisingly low despite the imprimatur and potential premiums provided by recognised accreditation.
In Australia, only a third of survey respondents had pursued green building certification for projects from an accredited agency, while in New Zealand only a quarter of the respondents had done so.
Amongst respondents who had gone to the trouble of obtaining certification, 60 per cent indicated that they sought the Green Star rating provided by the Green Building Council of Australia, while the remainder had produced a variety of domestic and overseas ratings, including, LEED, BREEAM and Green Mark.