Owners of retail and hotel establishments are reporting growing levels of green building activity planned over the next two years, according to a new report recently released by McGraw-Hill Construction in partnership with Waste Management. The report, titled “Green Retail and Hospitality SmartMarket Report: Capitalizing on the Growth in Green Building Investments,” is based on a study of 79 retail, 30 hotel and 22 restaurant owners conducted in 2013 by McGraw-Hill Construction.
The study defined a green building project as one built to LEED or another recognized green building standard, or one that is energy-efficient, water-efficient and improves indoor-air quality or engages in material resource conservation. Notably, by this definition, the percentage of retail owners that have taken a green approach in over half of their building projects rose from 18% in 2011 to 38% this year and is expected to rise to 52% by 2015.
Hotel owners show an even greater investment in green building—the percentage of those owners that have taken a green approach in over half of their building projects rose from 28% in 2011 to 48% in 2013, and is projected to rise to 64% by 2015.
According to the study, owners are also committing to green operations and maintenance (O&M) practices, with nearly two thirds (65%) of retail owners reporting high green O&M activity, and an even stronger 73% of hotel owners reporting the same.
Owners note strong business benefits from green-building investments and green O&M practices, helping to drive this growth. Most notably, they report the following when comparing the performance of their green buildings to traditional buildings:
• Annual operating cost reductions: Reported by 66% of retail owners (at an average reduction of 8%) and by 51% of hotel owners (at an average reduction of 1%)
• Energy-use reductions: Reported by 58% of retail owners and 67% of hotel owners at an average reduction of 15% for both
• Asset value increases: Reported by 61% of retail owners (at an average increase of 7%) and by 71% of hotel owners (at an average reduction of 11%)
• ROI increases: Reported by 67% of retail owners (at an average increase of 8%) and by 85% of hotel owners (at an average reduction of 14%)
“Green building has taken such hold in the industry that even sectors with unique challenges, such as retail and hospitality, are making stronger investments,” said Harvey Bernstein, vice president, Industry Insights and Alliances for McGraw-Hill Construction. “Clearly the benefits that owners are reporting are key reasons for their green-building investments, and as they find better ways to measure those impacts and quantify the value to their sales velocity and to the well-being of their staff, customers and guests, we expect even more rapid engagement in green.”