Built-up misperceptions

A survey by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development has found that the cost of building green has been overestimated by as much as 28 percent by real-estate and construction-industry professionals.

On average, participants in the WBCSD’s 1,400-person global study estimated that building green costs 17 percent more than conventional construction, when in fact sustainable construction typically results in about a 5 percent cost increase.

Additionally, the survey’s respondents pegged greenhouse-gas emissions by buildings at 19 percent of the world total, when the actual number is nearly double that, at 40 percent.

With buildings already consuming so much energy and with projections for substantial rises in fast-growing regions such as China and India, the WBCSD targets opportunities to promote green building.

These and other findings have been released in a new report titled “Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Business Realities and Opportunities.”