Frost & Sullivan: LEED® certification set to raise bar for North American building industry
Emphasis on LEED certification and incorporation of energy efficiency measures increasingly characterize the function of the building sector in North America, reports Frost & Sullivan.
The sector is witnessing a significant shift toward greening and sustainability. Buildings in both the U.S. and Canada account for a major portion of each country’s total resource consumption, while releasing substantial quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere.
To reduce resource dependency and carbon footprint, the building industry will attempt to reduce energy and operating costs while trying to enhance asset value over time. The market trend reflects a direct correlation to the burgeoning importance of green buildings in North America. Nearly all vertical segments within the green building products and services market offer environmentally sustainable alternatives today with positive enduser interest and accounting for a sizeable portion of the market.
A significant challenge for market participants is the cost hurdle that frequently dampens enduser interest, said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Konkana Khaund. However, as the level of competitiveness increases with more options surfacing in the market, price is expected to experience downward pressure, eventually allowing for better market penetration.
New research from Frost & Sullivan, LEED and Beyond: Evolving Trends in Green & Intelligent Buildings in North America, finds that market earned revenues of over $12 billion in 2007 and is estimated to reach $42.6 billion in 2015.
Half of the total energy consumed in the U.S. is by commercial, institutional, or industrial buildings, and any increase in energy price is set to have a dramatic effect on the operating cost of these sectors. As such, new building projects must consider ways to lower bills through the efficient use of water, heat, and electricity. This is where the adoption of LEED standards can help.
One obstacle to LEED adoption, however, is the high cost of certification, which can include data collection, administrative and commissioning costs. Expenses can reach up to $60,000; a prohibitive amount for many small- to medium-sized projects.
Added to this, is the number of different rating systems within LEED itself. In addition, differing outlooks on climate change and energy supply does confuse market perceptions and lead to the idea that green buildings are a fashion, not a confirmed market poised for significant expansion. To counter this, industry awareness of the benefits of high-performance green buildings is critical.
The maturity attained by the North American construction industry makes it imperative for participants to explore ways of adding valuable differentiators to their projects. By adopting LEED, builders and designers have an opportunity to prove themselves as leaders and innovators in an industry now focusing intently on environmental, social, and financial responsibility, observed Khaund.
‘LEED and Beyond: Evolving Trends in Green & Intelligent Buildings in North America” is part of the Building Management Technologies Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the following: North American Energy Recovery Ventilation Markets, North American Building Automation Systems Market, North American Markets for Integration of Building Security Systems with BAS, North American Zone Control Systems Markets, and European Green Buildings Markets.