In 2008, the green building market size grew from an estimated 15 percent to 20 percent of new construction starts by value — an amount that’s equivalent to a $36 billion to $49 billion marketplace. It’s enough to make you wonder how green building works and how you can become part of it, right?
Now that growth has occurred, the study noted, against a backdrop of turmoil in the overall construction market, which fell 7 percent in 2007, 14 percent in 2008 and is projected to sustain a 17 drop this year.
Nevertheless, the green building market is expected to grow further, expanding to as much as $140 billion by 2013, the study said. The green commercial and institutional market share is projected to increase from a $24 to $29-billion marketplace in 2008 to $56 billion to $70 billion based on new starts by value.
In its broader findings, the study concluded that:
• Sustainability will continue to become part of standard corporate practice. As such, firms have a short window of engagement before they will lose first-mover advantage.
• At some level, sustainability is insulated from economic downturns—most likely due to the innovation it can spur. Firms should capitalize on the advantages of sustainability in order to position themselves to reap the benefits when the economy rebounds.
• Increased regulation is likely to occur. Firms should look for opportunities to position themselves ahead of regulation. Those that do will be able to compete in more markets and may also gain incentives offered to early adopters.
• Public reporting and transparency is becoming routine. Firms should take stock of their current baselines in order to be able to report accurately their performance and set goals and metrics for improvement. Customers will start to expect sustainability reports.
• Larger corporations are embracing sustainability more enthusiastically and engaging in more benchmarking activities. As a result, these large firms will influence the supply chain by requiring their vendors to provide them with sustainability and environmental reporting information. Smaller firms and service providers should establish their energy use, carbon emissions and other environmental and sustainability metrics in expectation of these requirements.
If you want to get a better understanding of how green building works, you should check out our LEED Green Associate Exam Prep. That class talks more about the factors driving sustainability as well as building strategies that can help you save energy and be more resilient.