The green building boom in New York, Shanghai and other design-forward cities isn't reverberating as far as some business leaders would like.

A new survey by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development finds that key players in the real estate and construction sectors misjudge the true costs and benefits of resource-efficient buildings.

So to adequately tackle climate change, policymakers and business leaders must do more to spur environmentally sustainable construction practices, says the Geneva-based business council, which represents about 200 corporations. "In order to achieve a step change in energy efficiency in buildings, there is a need for strongly supportive policies and regulatory frameworks," said WBCSD President Bjorn Stigson. "Governments and local authorities need to develop sound policies."

The council surveyed 1,400 people across the globe. Those surveyed estimated that the premium cost of a green building compared to a conventional design is 17 percent. However, the report found that the actual premium cost of a green design is closer to 5 percent.


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