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News & Publications >> Press & Media >> Majority of Respondents to Green Building Survey Support Green and Sustainable Construction; Perceived Value of LEED Certification Process Declines by 10 Percent

Majority of Respondents to Green Building Survey Support Green and Sustainable Construction; Perceived Value of LEED Certification Process Declines by 10 Percent

Survey Respondents Weigh in on Green Construction Risks and Costs

LOS ANGELES - Feb. 26, 2009 - The Third Annual Green Building Survey by Allen Matkins, Constructive Technologies Group (CTG) and the Green Building Insider reveals surprising results regarding green construction.  The survey, completed by more than 900 respondents, addressed current attitudes toward green building, its risks, costs, certification processes and trends. 

The survey, which was completed in December 2008, gauges the opinions of professionals involved in green building and LEED certification.  A super majority of respondents endorsed building green, with 93.4 percent of survey participants agreeing that it is worth the time and effort.  However, despite this endorsement of building green, 66.2 percent (down from 76 percent in the 2007 survey) agreed that it was worth obtaining official LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. 

These results suggest that while building industry respondents almost unanimously indicated that it is worth the time and effort to build green, LEED certification was perceived as attractive by just two-thirds of green building supporters.  Further research is necessary, but there may be several potential reasons for these survey results: 

  • The survey was conducted amid the financial meltdown of late 2008.  Therefore, financial concerns could have colored the results wherein some respondents may be hesitant to add any additional fees for services that are not directly associated with traditional bricks and mortar construction costs.
  • Results could reflect increased competition from other certification schemes.  In fact, some newly enacted green building regulations in various jurisdictions do not specify a specific green certification process.
  • Some of these new laws and regulations are focused on carbon footprints and greenhouse gasses, which where not directly addressed by the LEED certification process until 2009.

"This year's survey provides an excellent barometer of the benefits and risks currently associated with green building and LEED certification," said Bryan Jackson, chair of Allen Matkins' Green and Sustainable Construction Practice Group.  "The survey is one of the broadest surveys of green building professionals in the industry and includes design professionals, developers and owners, contractors/subcontractors, claims professionals, consultants and attorneys."

In addition, risks are perceived as slightly higher for green construction, with "measurement and verification" being the most important risk-avoidance measure for green developers.  Also, the majority of respondents believed that green construction risks generally decreased with experience, except the risk of construction defects.

Balancing green construction costs with the benefits of green is an ongoing discussion within the industry; however, survey responses are consistent with other industry surveys in that the most respondents felt that the cost premium for constructing a green building over a traditional building is less than 4 percent.  Also, due to recent increases in energy costs, 74 percent indicated they were more likely to incorporate sustainable elements into future projects.

The scope of the survey was expanded from previous years. Visit  to view the survey results.


In addition to the survey, which covers the fastest growing sector of construction, Allen Matkins recently marked a successful anniversary of publishing its Green Building Update, offered via free subscription to owners, contractors, architects, urban planners, commercial and residential real estate developers, environmentalists, and anyone interested in green building issues.

E-mailed weekly, the publication provides up-to-date information about domestic and international developments in the green building industry.  The Green Building Update provides a compilation of ten of the most important articles from publications across the globe, including several green building projects and links to important research studies.

To subscribe free of charge, go to

With thousands of subscribers, the Green Building Update is an Allen Matkins marketing intelligence publication.  All issues of last year's Green Building Update can be found at .


Allen Matkins, founded in 1977, is a California-based law firm with approximately 220 attorneys in four major metropolitan areas of California: Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco and San Diego. The firm's core specialties include real estate, real estate and commercial finance, bankruptcy and creditors' rights, construction, land use, natural resources, environmental, corporate and securities, intellectual property, joint ventures, taxation, employment and labor law, and dispute resolution and litigation in all these matters. For more than 30 years, Allen Matkins has helped clients turn opportunity and challenge into success by providing practical advice, innovative solutions and valuable business opportunities. When clients' challenges require experienced trial counsel, Allen Matkins has a proven track record of successful litigation before juries, judges and arbitrators.

Allen Matkins is located on the web at


CTG helps resolve construction and design-related disputes in the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, building envelope, cost estimating and scheduling disciplines, with unique experience in sustainable development and LEED/green buildings. Working in close collaboration with attorneys, insurance carriers, contractors, project owners and others, the firm investigates failures in building systems and provides testimony at ADR, deposition and trial and provides risk management services.  CTG is located on the Web at .


Green Building Insider ( is a publication of WPL Publishing Co. Inc. and focuses on issues and news in the green building industry. In addition, WPL Publishing produces two other construction-related newsletters, Construction Project Controls and BIM Report ( ) and Construction Claims Advisor ( ).