Green buildings provide better investment returns to their owners, the World Green Building Council says.
Chief executive Jane Henley is in New Zealand to present a report called "The Business Case for Green Building."
She said as business tenants saw the financial opportunity in leasing green buildings, it would drive improvement in construction in this country.
New Zealand research, by Michael Rehm from the University of Auckland and Rochelle Ade, from Ade Consultants, has also highlighted a "perception gap" about the cost of green building.
Most people think green buildings cost almost a third more to build but usually cost no more than 4% more.
Sustainable buildings then cost less to run from a tenant and owner perspective, and improved lighting, ventilation and views of the outdoors boost employee productivity by up to 23%. They also had higher sales prices and better occupancy rates.
Henley said: “Sustainable buildings make business sense. Our business case synthesises all the credible global evidence into one collective resource - and the evidence is clear. From risk mitigation across a building portfolio and city-wide economic benefits, to the improved health and well-being of occupants, the business case will continue to evolve as markets mature. We’re seeing momentum grow; green buildings have become the status quo in many cities.”
New Zealand Green Building Council chief executive Alex Cutler said it was useful to have New Zealand research to back up international findings.
“Our sustainable building industry has matured. New Zealand has skilled practitioners who are delivering healthier, more efficient buildings for no more than a conventional build. Cost is frequently cited as the biggest barrier to green building – but that will shift as businesses understand there are firm financial gains to be made, alongside the health and environmental benefits.”