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Green-Building Market Grows 50 Percent

The U.S. green-building market is accelerating, according to McGraw-Hill Construction's “Green Outlook 2011: Green Trends Driving Growth” report. The value of green-building construction starts was up 50 percent from 2008 to 2010—from $42 billion up to $55 billion to $71 billion—and represents 25 percent of all new construction activity in 2010. According to projections, the green-building market is expected to reach $135 billion by 2015.

In nonresidential building, the green-building market share is even higher than the overall market. Currently, a third of all new nonresidential construction is green—a $54 billion market. In five years, nonresidential green-building activity is expected to triple, representing $120 billion to $145 billion in new construction (40 to 48 percent of the nonresidential market) and $14 billion to $18 billion in major retrofit and renovation projects.

Health-care construction this year is expected to grow its green share to as much as 40 percent (valued at $8 billion to $9 billion in 2010). Education (valued at $13 billion to $16 billion in 2010) and office green construction (valued at $7 billion to $8 billion in 2010) also remain strong sectors, showing high increases in market share, in part because of the fact that bigger projects are the most likely to "go green." This year, U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is mentioned in 71 percent of all projects valued at more than $50 million.

Aside from market-size estimates, the 32-page report provides insights into key trends, perceptions, and motivators in the green-building space. For example, building owners cited three business benefits as the main drivers for building green:

  • Reduction in operating costs of 13.6 percent on average for new buildings and 8.5 percent for retrofits.
  • Increase in building values of 10.9 percent for new buildings and 6.8 percent for retrofits.
  • Increase in return on investment (ROI) of 9.9 percent for new buildings and 19.2 percent for retrofits.

Beyond these bottom-line advantages, McGraw-Hill Construction attributes green building's rapid expansion to owners' desire for market differentiation, growing public awareness, and an increase in local and federal government regulations. As of September 2010, green-building legislation and initiatives were present in 12 federal agencies and 33 states, and the proliferation of local-government initiatives have increased from 156 localities in 2008 to 384 localities in 2010.

More information and specific green-building projects can be found in the report and on the GreenSource Website at To order a copy of the report, visit

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