Green Building in Retail and Hospitality

We are excited about the results of this seminal study on green building in the retail and hospitality sectors, which reveals that green building has indeed taken hold in these sectors and is expected to grow significantly in the next two years. From 2011 to 2013, there was tremendous growth in green building in the retail and hotel sectors – bringing them more into alignment with green leaders in the education and office sectors. Retail owners in particular become much more invested in green – with the percentage of owners highly involved in green building (more than half of their new buildings green) more than doubling from 18% in 2011 to 38% in 2013. And that number is expected to grow even more in the next two years – rising to 52%.

Hotel owners tell a similar story and show even greater levels of engagement. Those highly involved in green building rose from 28% in 2011 to 48% in 2013 – and that growth is expected to rise to 62% in 2015. Clearly, the shift to green building is here to stay. These results reinforce our Dodge Construction Green Outlook, which estimated that 35% of retail and 38% of hotel starts by value were green in 2012. Further, this growth is not confined to new construction activity – nearly two thirds of retail and three quarters of hotel owners also expect to have green operations and maintenance activities by 2015.

These two sectors have inherent challenges that make greening them difficult. Therefore, the fact that they are engaging in green building at these levels demonstrates that sustainable development practices are becoming the norm – and critical for the industry to track. A large percentage of owners also report higher customer satisfaction and improved worker well-being as a result of green efforts – adding even more incentive for future activities.

Though reduction in energy use – the aspect of green most easily tracked – is highly important in these sectors, they also value other green attributes not as critical to other sectors:

  • Recycling and waste management are highly valued by both retail and hotel owners – more so than in other sectors. Further, 77% of retail and 73% of hotel owners require their contractors to have green waste handling practices.
  • Water conservation and indoor air quality are of particular importance to hotel owners. For example, 87% require green products for thermal and moisture protection.


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