USGBC report: green building outpacing overall construction growth
The green building sector is outpacing overall construction growth in the U.S. and will account for more than 2.3 million American jobs this year, according to a new U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) 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.
The growth in green building reflects concerns from homeowners and building owners for better performing, more comfortable buildings.
"Green buildings are built to save water, resources, energy and they also save money," said Marissa Long, communications director for USGBC. "The USGBC has the LEED green building rating systems that certifies buildings built to the highest standards for energy efficiency and environmental design. These are buildings that are healthier for the people who occupy them and they're better for the environment. All types of building can be LEED certified, the places we live work learn and play so there's a place for green construction in all types of building."
Long said that the study indicates 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 industry’s direct contribution to U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is also expected to reach $303.5 billion from 2015-2018.
“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,” Long said. “More than 2.3 million U.S. workers are taking home $134 billion annually in large part because of green building programs like LEED. 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 new USGBC analysis 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 (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
“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. “This industry is certainly on the rise, and aggressive growth in the green building sector is anticipated over the next four years.”
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.
"Building owners and operators say they're using LEED certification because it saves money and it's better for their bottom line," Long said. "Those are two of the biggest contributors we see to why this industry is growing so much."
Download the report here.
Read more about LEED and green building certifications.
Companies: U.S. Green Building Council