Buildings are responsible for an enormous amount of global energy use, resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. As the demand for more sustainable building options increases, green construction is becoming increasingly profitable and desirable within the international construction market.
In the United States alone, buildings account for almost 40 percent of national CO2 emissions and out-consume both the industrial and transportation sectors, but LEED-certified buildings have 34 percent lower CO2 emissions, consume 25 percent less energy and 11 percent less water, and have diverted more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills.
The market is responding to these cost savings and environmental benefits at a dramatic rate. According to a Dodge Data & Analytics World Green Building Trends 2016 SmartMarket Report, the global green building sector continues to double every three years, with survey respondents from 70 countries reporting 60 percent of their projects will be green by 2018.
The benefits of green building are expanding the market and breaking records
Upfront investment in green building makes properties more valuable.
With an average expected increase in value of 4 percent. By virtue of lowered maintenance and energy costs the return on investment from green building is rapid: green retrofit projects are generally expected to pay for itself in just seven years.
Green buildings reduce day-to-day costs year-over-year.
LEED buildings report almost 20 percent lower maintenance costs than typical commercial buildings, and green building retrofit projects typically decrease operation costs by almost 10 percent in just one year.
Between 2015 and 2018, LEED-certified buildings in the United States are estimated to have $1.2 billion in energy savings, $149.5 million in water savings, $715.2 million in maintenance savings and $54.2 million in waste savings.
The green building sector is outpacing overall construction growth in the United States and will continue to rise. By 2018, green construction will directly contribute 1.1 million jobs and $75.6 billion in wages by 2018 in the United States. The industry’s direct contribution to U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is also expected to reach $303.5 billion from 2015-2018. LEED building construction projects are estimated contribute 386,000 jobs and $26.2 billion in wages by 2018.
As of October 2017, more than 19.3 billion square feet of building space is LEED-certified worldwide and an approximately 2.2 million square feet achieves LEED certification each day.
Here is a case study with global manufacturer Colgate-Palmolive Company that has decided to embrace green building and pursues LEED-certified structures for all of their new buildings worldwide.
For more information, please visit USGBC.org.
Sources: USGBC, other, October 2017