Green building projects have been adopted by many universities in Australia as part of their renovation and expansion. In order to investigate the motivations of academic decision makers to invest in green facilities, a comprehensive analysis of media articles of 24 green academic buildings approved by the Green Building Council of Australia (between 2004 and 2011) were analysed using a qualitative analytical approach based on grounded theory. Findings in this work show that the decision makers in Australian universities are more likely to be driven by the direct benefits green buildings brought to the universities, enhancing universities' reputation and meeting the specific needs for education and research. Other factors that deal with improving universities' financial conditions and environmental protection were found to be a lower significance for investments. However the connections between the motivating factors also reveal the indirect benefits of green buildings which are an enhancement in reputation by fulfilling an environmental protection responsibility and research capacity enhancement by supplying technical study opportunities for students and researchers. This paper proposes an approach to deal with the complex network of vague and subjective concepts of the green buildings comprehension. It supplies researchers with tools for analysing abstract concepts and determining their interactions.