The green building industry is a new and rapidly growing part of the US economy, and a recent study by US Green Building Council and Booz Allen Hamilton clearly shows that green construction is an economic stimulus with tremendous potential for growth. Green construction creates jobs, contributes the GDP, saves money, and is outpacing construction growth as a whole in the US.[1]

Annual green construction spending as whole is projected to grow 15.1% between 2015 and 2018, increasing from $150.6 billion to a projected $224.4 billion. Residential green construction is growing particularly fast with a year over year growth rate of 24.5% and is projected to make up 44.75% of all green construction by 2018.

Green construction is also no slouch when it comes to creating jobs. The green construction industry directly contributed 796,000 jobs and $53.6 billion in wages in 2015, and that is projected to increase to 1.1 million jobs, a projected 38% of all construction jobs, and $75.6 billion in wages by 2018.

Green buildings also provide very real, tangible savings. Green construction can save money in operational costs and in the construction phase. The USGBC’s report analyzes four categories of savings – water, trash, energy, and maintenance labor – as well as savings across different LEED certification levels. Green construction will generate $4.8 billion in savings from 2015 to 2018, LEED-certified buildings accounting for $2.2 billion out of that total. Although not addressed by this particular report, there is also substantial evidence that suggests that green buildings save money through improved worker health and productivity.[2]

Why is green construction growing? A 2013 study of green construction around the world found that the top reason for building green changed from “doing the right thing” in 2008 to direct and tangible business benefits such as lower operating costs in 2012.[3] Going green is, in fact, the right thing to do, but continued savings and economic contributions are the key to the green construction industry’s growth and survival.

[1] https://kapost-files-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/direct/1442372448-6108-2394/USGBC_Green_Building_Economic_Impact_Study.pdf

[2] http://www.worldgbc.org/files/6314/1152/0821/WorldGBC__Health_Wellbeing__productivity_Full_Report.pdf

[3] http://construction.com/about-us/press/world-green-building-trends-smartmarket-report.asp

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