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Growth of Green Construction

One of the things we are always discussing in the pages of the magazine is sustainable and green construction. We look at how the architecture and construction market has changed over the past several years, while looking towards the future.

A few weeks ago, the U.S. Green Building Council, along with Booz Allen Hamilton, released its 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study. The report notes the green building sector is outpacing the overall construction growth in the U.S., and will account for more than 2.3 million jobs this year. It also says the green building industry contributes more than $134.3 billion in labor income to working Americans. Additionally, the rate of growth of green construction is rapidly outpacing that of conventional construction and will continue to rise.

The study finds that by 2018, green construction will account for more than 3.3 million U.S. jobs-more than one-third of the entire U.S. construction sector-and generate $190.3 billion in labor earnings. The direct contribution of the green construction industry to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to reach $303.5 billion from 2015-2018.

Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair of USGBC, says that green building is playing a massive role in the U.S. construction sector, the clean and efficient energy sector, and the U.S. economy as a whole. "More than 2.3 million U.S. workers are taking home $134 billion annually in large part because of green building programs like LEED," explains Fedrizzi. "Demand for green building will only continue to grow as individuals, businesses and institutions continue to prioritize sustainable approaches to the design, construction and operations of our built environment."

The study also explores the multifaceted economic contribution of green construction to the U.S. economy and individual U.S. states, quantifying the economic impact of green building and LEED. David Erne, a senior associate at Booz Allen, says the research shows the green building economy has created millions of jobs and contributed hundreds of billions of dollars to the U.S. economy, with the construction of LEED-certified buildings making up about 40 percent of the sector's overall contribution to the GDP in 2015. "This industry is certainly on the rise, and aggressive growth in the green building sector is anticipated over the next four years," he adds.

The study also projects the 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 are expected to reach $8.4 billion by 2018.

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