Studies: Green jobs grow economy

Organizations such as the U.S. Green Building Council report that the growth of the green building industry stands out in the dismal economy.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff January 16, 2009

In the face of mounting job losses, impending corporate bankruptcies, and other economic crises, green building stands as one of the few bright spots in the current recession.

“As research comes in from diverse sources examining the interest in green buildings among a wide range of Americans, the numbers keep painting the same picture,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council .

According to Turner Construction Co.’s “Green Building Barometer” report , 75% of commercial real estate executives (including developers, rental building owners, brokers, architects, engineers, and others) say that despite current rough credit conditions, they are not discouraged from building green. Actually, 83% of respondents said they would be “extremely” or “very” likely to seek LEED certification for buildings they are planning to build within the next three years.

Other key findings from various studies conducted over the past year include:* Seventy percent of homebuyers are more inclined to buy a green home over a conventional home in a down housing market ( McGraw-Hill Construction’s 2008 SmartMarket Report, “The Green Home Consumer”)* More than 80% of commercial building owners have allocated funds to green initiatives this year (“2008 Green Survey: Existing Buildings,” jointly funded by Incisive Media’s Real Estate Forum and , the Building Owners and Managers Assn. International and USGBC )* Sixty percent of commercial building owners offer education programs to assist tenants in implementing green programs in their space, up 49.4% from last year (Incisive Media, et al)* A national green economic recovery program investing $100 billion over 10 years in six infrastructure areas would create 2 million new jobs ( Center for American Progress and the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst).