Despite its growth, green building may still have to present its case to businesses. With the amount of investment and the length of ROI, green building costs may be more than they're worth.
Therefore, it's worth listening to the U.S. education sector, and what it has learned from its green building efforts.
According to the McGraw-Hill Construction report, "New and Retrofit Green Schools" the growth in total green share was estimated to be $16 million in 2012.
"Higher education's focus on mission is a great differentiator, and a reason why climate is important to this sector," said Donna Laquidara-Carr, editor of the report. "Higher education has a unique potential to guide other sectors by demonstrating its pursuit of the triple-bottom-line metrics for evaluating its green projects."
The major difference between higher education and commercial buildings is crucial in understanding the shift. In the commercial sector, cost and energy savings become much more prominent, and climate change is less frequently discussed.
"[Higher education] puts greater emphasis on improved occupant performance, meeting internal sustainability goals, conforming to government regulations and lowering the environmental impact of buildings."