Over the last month, I’ve seen several reports on green building, and we’ll try to address them all in due time. With reports like this, though, we have to spread it out – this is geeky stuff, it’s not leisurely eye candy or anything like that. But we like to follow the numbers in anticipation of future trends. In that regard, the Green Outlook 2009: Trends Driving Change report by McGraw-Hill Construction has some interesting information. According to the report, the value of green building construction starts was up five times from 2005 to 2008, with values escalating from $10 billion to $36-$49 billion. Also, by analysis, the report estimates that construction starts could triple over the next five years and reach $96-$140 billion.
The report’s findings are based on the Dodge database, construction industry surveys, data analysis, and analysis of other indicators such as LEED certification and government regulation.
You might be skeptical of information such as this because, after all, the economy is a little different today that it was, say, 6-9 months ago. That said, it appears that McGraw-Hill Construction built tough economic conditions into the report, and as a matter of fact, green is doing good in the down market. Perceived economic benefits are driving green building and some of those benefits include:
- Higher revenues
- Lower lifecycle costs
- Lower operating costs
- Other motivations: health costs, governmental regulations, global competition
Harvey M. Bernstein, VP of Industry Analytics, Alliances and Strategic Initiatives for McGraw-Hill Construction, said, “The business opportunity afforded by green building, even in the midst of a global economic crisis, are real and recognized by industry players. Furthermore, green building has great potential to help tack unemployment through green jobs, and can address other societal issues, such as creating healthier places where we live and work.”