Green building incentives: a review

Ayokunle Olubunmi Olanipekun*, Bo Xia, Martin Skitmore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Green building incentives are important to promoting green building. However, it lacks a systematic review of existing knowledge. This paper aims to elicit the common themes in studies of green building incentives through a systematic review. It is found that the common research areas into green building incentives are incentive categorisation, its effectiveness on promoting green building development, criticism of current green incentive implementation and strategies for improving green building incentives. Green building incentives are categorised into external and internal incentives. The external incentive is a forced choice whereby beneficiaries are required to fulfil specified conditions or requirements before benefitting, while the internal incentive allows beneficiaries to be incentivised out of volition because of the appeal of the benefits of green buildings. The external incentives, which are largely provided by the government, are divided into financial and non-financial incentives. It is found that owners are more incentivised by non-financial incentives. In terms of effectiveness, both external and internal incentives are important instruments for promoting green building, although it is not clear which are the more effective. Furthermore, the review uncovered criticisms of external green building incentives, which mainly focus on shortcomings in administering the incentives by the government. The strategies for improving green building incentives were also found, the most important of these being the need for the government to redirect its approach of providing incentives so that owners can be encouraged to pursue green building. The review findings signify the importance of the government in relation to green building incentives. Further research areas that could expand the knowledge of green building incentives are also recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1611-1621
JournalRenewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews
Early online date4 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • Green building incentives
  • Government
  • Internal
  • External
  • Review
  • Extrinsic
  • Intrinsic

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