Green Materials to Hit $80B by 2013


We’ve heard that the value of green construction starts could reach $140 billion by 2013, but what about the market for green building materials?  Thanks to a report by the Freedonia Group, Inc., we have some numbers to look at.  According to the Green Building Materials to 2013 report released in February 2009, U.S. demand for green building products is expected to reach $80 billion by 2013.  The market is currently at $57 billion, representing a whopping average 7.2% annual increase over the next five years.

Apparently, and I say apparently because the study is $4,700.00 and we haven’t purchased it, the main driver for growth in demand will be an overall recovery in the residential market.  Certainly the USGBC’s emphasis on green materials will provide a boost, too.  Here are a few snapshots of information in the report:

  • FSC certified lumber and wood products will be the fastest growing segment of the green building products market;
  • Water efficient and energy-efficient fixtures will undergo double-digit growth;
  • Green floor coverings demand will grow at a rate of ~5.7%, but sales in this segment represent the largest share of the green building products market;
  • Recycled concrete demand will grow at a rate of ~8.4%, with sales in this segment representing the second largest share of the green building products market; and
  • Since 2003, the overall green building materials market grew from $39.2 to $57 billion, representing a 45% increase over five years;

I think we can all agree that the increasing availability of green building materials in all segments is a good thing.  Competition creates the opportunity for both low-cost providers and differentiators.  Consumers will benefit from that.  And widespread availability of green materials gives everyone, whether they’re interested or not, the opportunity to purchase an incrementally better product.

[$] Green Building Materials to 2013 – $4,700.

  • Earl

    This has not gone unnoticed by the Chinese. They are gearing up to export green building products to the US in a big way. See

    • Preston

      China can do what they want, and I hope they do for the benefit of their own country, but as it relates to U.S. demand, locally sourced materials will have an edge. They’re favored by the certification systems because of the transportation impact and carbon premium.

  • Susan

    I agree that it’s important to increase the availability of green building materials, but I think we have to be careful not to lose sight of the fact that it’s also critical to focus on improving existing buildings. It’s a lot cheaper to retrofit an existing buildings and reap the benefits of improving its energy efficiency than it is to create an entirely new building. New buildings should be green, but a more urgent project is improving the buildings that exist, because they are not going away any time soon. What are your thoughts?

  • Brennan

    From looking at the other comments. We cannot let China get a hold of this market and I do not think they will. Many products in the green/clean industry are not something you can make for next to nothing etc. China is already trying to get into it with an electric car for $5,500 but when it comes to the things we will need to be energy efficient I don’t think China can make cheap crap and make it dominate the market.

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