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This report provides an understanding of why green building is important to our communities, a brief look at the emergence of green building standards, research evidence on the perceived pros and cons of green building, and original research on green building in the Pacific Northwest. The original research is an analysis of perspectives voiced in conversations, focus groups and surveys with both members of the construction industry and local government on the barriers and incentives to green building in their local communities. As nearly 500 construction industry members and just over 300 local governments participated in the research, this report encompasses, perhaps for the first time, one of the largest examinations of the aggregated voices of both the public and private sector on factors that affect green building. Green house gas emissions from commercial buildings are growing at a faster than average annual rate – 1.8% higher – than either transportation or residential emission rates. This trend alone provides strong justification to take a close look at the factors that may help change this dynamic.

Faculty and graduate students in the College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs and the College of Engineering assembled this report. It consolidates information to provide a deeper understanding of green building issues and opportunities facing Pacific-Northwest communities. The report provides both municipalities and construction professionals information that may foster their green building goals. Members of both groups indicate they want to engage in green building, but in a financially viable way. This report is a starting point for formally identifying the next steps for making green building more likely.


Boise State University Principal Investigators:

Susan Mason

Anthony Marker

Rebecca Mirsky

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