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Green Building News

Green Building’s Growing Market Power

A McGraw-Hill study predicts up to a fivefold increase in green residential construction by 2016

Trending up. The share of green construction increased from 2% in 2005 to 17% in 2011, a McGraw-Hill Construction study shows. More important, green construction’s market share is expected to continue to grow to as much as 38% by 2016, representing $87 billion to $114 billion in construction activity — a fivefold increase over 2011.
Image Credit: McGraw-Hill Construction Market Forecasting Service

The unveiling last week of McGraw-Hill Construction’s Green Home Builders and Remodelers Study, at the National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders’ Show, in Orlando, Florida, affirmed — and put into sharper focus — previous observations (many of them anecdotal) about green building and its advances in the homebuilding and remodeling markets.

Because “green” can mean any number of things, depending on who is doing the marketing, McGraw-Hill noted that, for the purposes of the study, the term did in fact encompass “many factors,” including efforts to recycle materials and divert them from landfills. But it also emphasized that green is now most closely associated with techniques to increase the energy efficiency of a home. Builders included in the study reported that the additional cost to go green is now 7%, versus 10% in 2008 and 11% in 2006.

Potential for a big leap

In 2011, green homes comprised 17% of the overall residential construction market, the analysis showed. The core finding of the study, though, is that green construction is expected to comprise between 29% and 38% of the market by 2016 — a potential fivefold increase, from $17 billion in 2011 to somewhere within the range of $87 billion to $114 billion in 2016.

For remodelers who specialize in green upgrades — which, again, are mostly directed to improvements boosting energy efficiency — the expected increases in market share are even greater: 34% of remodelers expect to be doing mostly green work by 2016, a 150% increase over 2011 activity levels. Many homebuilders have shifted to remodeling, the McGraw-Hill study (and others) points out, because demand for homebuilding has dropped off so dramatically.

The study also showed that even though green construction and remodeling are growing nationwide, three regions are seeing higher than average growth: the West Coast, whose green-construction growth has been the most robust; the northern region of the Midwest; and New England.

McGraw-Hill promises to further analyze the study findings and release the results in April at the NAHB National Green Building Conference and Expo, scheduled to take place in Nashville.


  1. wjrobinson | | #1

    Nonsense. I think this chart
    Nonsense. I think this chart of numbers is Bologna.

    99.9% of permits in my county are for apartments with 2x6 fiberglass batt walls. Green? Energy efficient? OK

    What they are building is the human style of housing similar to how we wonderfully coop up our food... pigs, chickens and all in cages almost smaller than their bodies.

    Rack em and stack em... is the green building this way.

  2. wjrobinson | | #2

    Green Propaganda is what this
    Green Propaganda is what this McGraw-Hill study is.

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