Schools are a Hot Market for Sustainable Design


A recently released market research study from McGraw-Hill, conducted in collaboration with U.S. Green Building Council, shows that education is the fastest-growing market in the sustainability sector.

The findings are good news for the industry, given that education construction is the largest construction sector, by value, at $53 billion estimated spending for 2007, say the study’s authors.

This first phase of the ongoing study also found the following:

  • Fiscal advantages of green building, such as energy cost savings, are a major motivation behind green schools and universities.


  • Improved health and well-being were found to be critical factors for driving education green building—factors that were not as highly rated for the overall construction marketplace in previous research.


  • Higher first costs are the primary challenge to building green in this sector. This is consistent with other research into the commercial green building markets.

The study also found a strong need for access to and information on green building products. Of particular interest were those products related to improving health, such as by reducing mold and indoor air pollutants.

In the second phase of this study, scheduled for completion in December, a broad survey of education facility professionals and in-depth interviews of education building owners will be undertaken. Findings of the entire research program will be presented in the Education Green Building SmartMarket Report to be released in early 2007.

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