The public facilities sector showed the largest potential growth of almost 30 percent, with the education and commmercial sectors trailing closely. This growth could move the green building sector into a market worth of more than $128 billion in the next three years.
However, other researchers disagree with these findings. According to GreenMarketResearch.com, “The market will grow less significantly, with the real estate market continuing to see difficulty through 2010.”
No matter where the actual numbers fall, current market trends and future predictions show that the green building sector is expected to grow, adding jobs to the economy.
And reducing our energy consumption in our buildings can result in big savings: According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), buildings in the U.S. account for 72 percent of all electricity consumed.
Cities are already toying with the notion of instilling green building codes, which would stimulate further investment in the industry. However, there are some snags in the plans.
In December, New York City nixed a scheme that would have required over equired all buildings of 50,000 square feet or more to take steps to become more energy efficient and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the bill would have created 19,000 construction jobs. However, opponents argued that this is an overestimate, as the real estate industry is still reeling from the recession.
The popularity of green buildings are also on the rise. A landmark study by CB Richard Ellis and the University of San Diego found that tenants in green buildings experienced increased productivity and fewer sick days. Additionally, according to the study, “public image, recruitment and retention of employees are enhanced in green buildings.”