Heather Benjamin

Last month, USGBC announced the results of research by Dodge Data and Analytics, with which USGBC has partnered, in the World Green Building Trends 2016 SmartMarket Report. In a brief series, USGBC will highlight specific aspects of the report. 

Green building in India is experiencing major growth. According to the World Green Building Trends 2016 SmartMarket Report, green construction in the country accounts for 37 percent of respondents' total work. What's more, those surveyed estimate that by 2018, it will be 57 percent, the second highest among all countries taking part in the survey.

Sectors with expected growth

India anticipates growth that would significantly outpace global averages in two sectors: 

  • New commercial buildings (office, retail, hotel): 61 percent of respondents from India expect to build in this sector in the next three years, compared with 46 percent worldwide. 
  • New high-rise residential buildings (four or more floors): 48 percent of respondents from India expect to build in this area over the next three years, compared with only 25 percent globally.

In contrast, a much lower percentage of respondents anticipated doing new green institutional construction (26 percent) or existing building retrofits (24 percent) than the global averages of 38 and 37 percent, respectively. This suggests that green building in India is largely driven by the private sector.

Top drivers for green building

Environmental regulation was listed as one of the top triggers for green building by 52 percent of respondents from India—a number that far exceeds the global average of 35 percent. Other drivers, such as lower operating costs or moral imperative, were more moderate in influence, judging by the number of respondents that chose them. However, "healthier neighborhoods" was chosen by 28 percent of respondents as important. 

Social benefits

Although many respondents from India perceived a lack of political support (35 percent) and lack of public awareness (48 percent) to be obstacles to green building, they also consider "creating a sense of community" to be among the most important social reasons for such building (51 percent). This is the highest percentage among the countries surveyed, 22 points higher than the global average. This aligns with the emphasis on the residential sector. 

Business benefits

The vast majority of respondents, 91 percent, use metrics to track building performance. Recent results suggest that new buildings provide operational savings that are slightly higher than, but overall consistent with, global medians over one year and five years. However, the quick payback period shows that construction costs are generally lower than those of other reporting countries. In addition, India reports greater decreases in operating costs for retrofits than the global average, which may encourage more growth in that sector.

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