Demand for green buildings continues to rise, according to the 2022 RICS Sustainability Report.
But the data also shows there has been little or no change in construction, with a significant share of professionals saying they do not measure carbon emissions on projects.
On the investment side, around 45 per cent of those surveyed reported a modest increase in investor appetite for green/ sustainable buildings over the past 12 months, which is five per cent higher than the global average.
But the UK is lagging behind Europe as a whole, with around 80 per cent of those surveyed across Europe seeing an increase in investor demand for green/ sustainable real estate in the past year.
Demand for sustainable buildings is impacting both rents and prices, with a significant share of contributors seeing a market premium for sustainable buildings and citing that non-green real estate assets are subject to a ‘brown discount’.
For those buildings that aren’t classed as green or sustainable, 48 per cent of respondents noted a reduction in rents, and around half also cited a reduction in sale prices in the UK.
The survey showed that construction professionals in the UK are beginning to embrace digital tools and technologies to complete sustainability-related analysis for construction projects, predominantly to assess energy needs and costs, but they are less likely to use these tools to reduce embodied carbon or to measure the impact on biodiversity.
Around 38 per cent of contributors identified both the lack of established/ adopted standards, guidance and tools and high costs or low availability of low-carbon products as the most fundamental issues.
Kisa Zehra, RICS sustainability analyst, said: “Industry must adopt tools and standards where they are available and should make carbon assessment and management an integral part of business practice.
“RICS will continue to promote research, and demand policy changes while working in collaboration with industry, governments and our professionals to increase the impact of the built environment on positive climate strategy.”