(EnergyAsia, July 9 2012, Monday) — Singapore, Australia and South Korea have been named as global trendsetters in a study on the market for green buildings across 21 countries, according to US-based Lux Research.

In its latest study, the Massachusetts, Boston firm said energy security, and environmental and livability concerns drive government policy on green-building technologies but eventually cost and affordability determine the extent and pace of adoption.

In the study, ‘Policy’s Dramatic Impact on Green Buildings: The Global Hotspots’, Lux Research analysts examined 21 countries that account for 80% of the world’s GDP on how unique policy drivers create opportunities for specific green-building technologies.

They made found some major trends:

• Rich nations set the trend. Countries with high per capita incomes tend to be early adopters of expensive technologies and emerging technologies such as dynamic windows, green roofs and BIPV. Singapore, South Korea, Australia, Germany and the US also create attractive policy regimes for green buildings.

• Global cooperation is growing. Unlike securing energy supply, which is viewed as a zero-sum game, green buildings and energy efficiency are seen as “win-win” possibilities, leading to cooperation, like the work between USAID and India’s BEE on developing the ECBC codes and carbon emission cap-and-trade programs in several countries.

• Oil-rich nations are laggards. Energy-rich countries like Brazil lag in policies to promote green buildings but fast-growing nations are ahead on account of their need to contain ever-increasing energy costs and simultaneously reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Aditya Ranade, Lux Research analyst and the lead author of the report, said:

“Buildings are the spine of the increasingly urban world we find ourselves in, now containing over 50% of the global human population. Buildings use 40% of the world’s energy and account for 40% of the carbon dioxide emissions.

“Buildings are the spine of the increasingly urban world we find ourselves in, now containing over 50% of the global human population. Buildings use 40% of the world’s energy and account for 40% of the carbon dioxide emissions.”

“Policy measures, along with ability to pay, payback periods, and addressable market size, should determine a firm’s decision on which countries to invest precious market development funds in.”

The study is part of the Lux Research Sustainable Building Materials Intelligence service.