U.S. fails to make the grade on green building policy

The countries with the best green building markets earned that distinction largely due to strong government policies supporting sustainable construction, according to a new report by Lux Research. Nations in the report’s top tier include Singapore, South Korea, Germany, Australia, and the U.K.

The Boston-based firm that compiled the report identified six national policies -- including building codes and energy efficiency targets -- that play key roles in inspiring higher rates of activity in green building. The report, entitled ““Policy’s Dramatic Impact on Green Buildings: The Global Hotspots,” ranked 21 countries how successful they are at fostering an environment that supports green building.

Government motives behind these policies include an interest in energy security, and environmental and livability concerns, said Aditya Ranade, a Lux Research analyst and lead author of the report.

Wealthier countries with an ability and willingness to pay for these buildings were more likely to place higher in the rankings, he said. The 21 nations on the list represent more than 80 percent of the world’s total gross domestic product.

“For any emerging technology -- and especially for green buildings -- technology, financing and policy are the three legs of the stool that drive the adoption of these trends,” said Ranade.

The research firm is hosting a webinar on August 28 that will combine both the policy and financing landscape and explain how its analysts use those factors to determine global hot spots for emerging technologies in green building.

The U.S. didn’t make the cut into the top quadrant of countries in the report, despite significant pockets of cutting-edge green building activity across the nation. That’s because the catalysts for much of that construction aren’t attributed to federal policies, explained Ranade.

Next page: Six key policy measures for fostering green building growth