European mandates for improved energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions will help drive a steep growth in the market for green construction in the coming years, with the amount of certified green building space projected to nearly quadruple by 2016, according to a new market study. With all new building construction and major renovations subject to nearly zero-energy standards by 2020, a report from U.S.-based Pike Research projects that the percentage of total building space certified as green will increase from less than 1 percent to more than 2 percent, to 687 million square meters. That market will largely be shaped by ambitious European Union targets, including a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all buildings by 20 percent by 2020, increase the use of renewable energy sources by 20 percent, and reduce overall energy consumption by 20 percent. Another critical factor, however, will be unstable energy costs, the report says. “Price volatility and future carbon legislation present significant risks to organizations as future energy costs could rise unpredictably,” said Eric Bloom, a senior research analyst. The largest markets for green construction in Europe will be France and Germany, according to the report.