Even though US housing starts have dropped dramatically since 2008, green construction is significantly increasing as a share of activity, according to new research from McGraw-Hill Construction, in conjunction with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Waste Management.
For example, in 2011, green homes comprised 17 percent of the overall residential construction market. The new study revealed that builders now predict this share of activity will grow to between 29 percent and 38 percent by 2016 — equating to a five-fold increase in five years (from $17 billion in 2011 to $87-$114 billion in 2016).
In addition, construction industry professionals reported an even steeper increase in green home remodeling. About one-third of remodelers (34 percent) said they expect to be doing mostly green work by 2016 –that’s a whopping 150 percent increase over 2011 activity levels.
The main driver of the transition to green building appears to be the current economic climate:
- Many home builders have shifted to the remodeling market due to the drastic drop in new home construction. Well more than half (62 percent) of the builders who do both new and remodeling work verified that the economy has increased their renovation work.
- 46 percent of builders and remodelers and 71 percent of firms dedicated to green home building said they find “building green” makes it easier to market themselves in a down economy.
- A 7 percent drop in green construction costs has encouraged more home owners to seriously consider green building.
Three regions in particular are seeing higher than average growth in green building: the West Coast, the Midwest’s northern region and New England. But, the trend nationwide shows no signs of subsiding. In fact, the report projects that by 2016: (more…)