Green Building Outpaces Overall Construction Growth

USGBC 2015 green building study

by | Sep 16, 2015

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USGBC 2015 green building studyThe green building sector is outpacing overall construction growth in the US and will account for more than 2.3 million American jobs this year, according to a US Green Building Council study from Booz Allen Hamilton.

The 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study, released today by USGBC and prepared by Booz Allen, finds the green building industry contributes more than $134.3 billion in labor income to working Americans. The study also found that green construction’s growth rate is rapidly outpacing that of conventional construction and will continue to rise.

By 2018, the study finds, green construction will account for more than 3.3 million US jobs — more than one-third of the entire US construction sector — and generate $190.3 billion in labor earnings. The industry’s direct contribution to US Gross Domestic Product is also expected to reach $303.5 billion from 2015-2018.

The new USGBC analysis also explores the multifaceted economic contribution of green construction to the US economy and individual US states, quantifying the economic impact of green building and LEED.

“Our research shows that green building has created millions of jobs and contributed hundreds of billions of dollars to the U.S. economy, with the construction of LEED- certified buildings accounting for about 40 percent of green construction’s overall contribution to GDP in 2015,” said David Erne, a senior associate at Booz Allen.

In addition to national jobs, GDP and labor earnings from green building, the study projects significant growth in green building’s contribution to individual states’ tax contributions and environmental asset indicators at both the national and state levels.

Total state earnings related to LEED building construction projects are estimated to total $8.4 billion by 2018. In Texas alone, almost 1.26 million jobs in the green building sector are projected between 2015 and 2018. As a result, green building will also contribute to significant savings across energy, trash, water and maintenance costs.

A report by BBC Research published in August forecast the US market for green building materials will reach nearly $69 billion by 2019.

The market for green building materials reached nearly $40 billion and $43.8 billion in 2013 and 2014, respectively, according to the report. It forecasts the market to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.5 percent over the period 2014-2019.

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