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Singapore, US, Australia, Germany are trendsetters in green buildings

Energy security, and environmental and livability concerns drive government policy on green-building technologies but eventually cost and affordability determine the extent and pace of adoption, according to Lux Research. The firm ranked 21 countries using these factors to determine the best markets for green buildings.

“Buildings are the spine of the increasingly urban world we find ourselves in, now containing over 50 per cent of the global human population. Buildings use 40 per cent of the world’s energy and account for 40 per cent of the carbon dioxide emissions,” said Aditya Ranade, Lux Research Analyst and the lead author of the report titled, “Policy’s Dramatic Impact on Green Buildings: The Global Hotspots.”

“Policy measures, along with ability to pay, payback periods, and addressable market size, should determine a firm’s decision on which countries to invest precious market development funds in,” he added.

Lux Research analysts examined 21 countries that account for 80 per cent of the world’s GDP on a Lux Nations Ranking Chart, assessing how unique policy drivers in each country create an opportunity for specific green-building technologies. Among their findings:

  • Rich nations set the trend. Countries with high per capita incomes tend to be early adopters of expensive technologies and emerging technologies such as dynamic windows, green roofs and BIPV. These nations — such as the US, Singapore, South Korea, Germany and Australia — also create attractive policy regimes for green buildings.
  • Global cooperation is growing. Unlike securing energy supply, which is viewed as a zero-sum game, green buildings and energy efficiency are seen as “win-win” possibilities, leading to cooperation, like the work between USAID and India’s BEE on developing the ECBC codes and carbon emission cap-and-trade programs in several countries.
  • Oil-rich nations are laggards; fast-growing countries are ahead. Energy-rich countries like Brazil lag in policies to promote green buildings but fast-growing nations are ahead on account of their need to contain ever-increasing energy costs and simultaneously reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The report, titled “Policy’s Dramatic Impact on Green Buildings: The Global Hotspots,” is part of the Lux Research Sustainable Building Materials Intelligence service.

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