Green Building >> USA

USA Country Market
Insights and Opportunities

Green Building Market

Overview: In the US, green building is a focus within land use development, construction and retro-fitting with an emphasis on increasing efficiencies and cleaner energy production and use within a real estate development, its community and its infrastructure utilities in residential, commercial and government projects.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is a third-party certification program and the US nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings and associated the US Green Building Council. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development; water savings; energy efficiency; materials selection; and indoor environmental quality. LEED projects are in progress in 41 different countries, including USA, Canada, Mexico and Brazil.

While the US economy has slowed in the residential market, innovative and unique products and services are still in high demand in resort developments, commercial and government facilities. New US energy legislation is requiring new efficiencies and many states have implemented tax benefits to incentivize new projects. The National Association of Home Builders has also developed a Green Program. North America will be the largest overall market for green building by 2013 and will be valued between US$96-US$140 billion.

In 2009, 80 per cent of corporate America is expected to be engaged in green at least 16 per cent of the time, and 20 per cent will be engaged in green 60 per cent of the time.

Just do it in the US! – making ‘green’ a requirement is being mandated by project sponsors and state and local governments as a result of climate change.

US customers are shifting to ‘pulling’ creative solutions from companies instead of waiting on the market with an increased use of solar in the southwest US, and wind and water technologies across the US.

Projects: US Federal Stimulus & Green Building.

The almost $800 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) (17 February 2009), signed by President Obama, includes large amounts of money for green building and energy efficiency in government buildings.   

The General Services Administration (GSA) will receive $5.55 billion in funds, with an emphasis on green building. The breakdown is as follows: $750 million going to federal buildings (i.e. courthouses), $300 million for border stations, and $4.5 billion for modernizing GSA facilities to meet the proposed green standards. The bill is also forming an Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings, a council that will be a collaboration between the GSA and the Department of Energy, to help facilitate the logistical and administrative work of greening government buildings.  

The Department of Defense (DOD) will also receive a hefty stimulus for energy-efficient improvements. ARRA gives the DOD $4.2 billion for projects involving maintenance, repair, and energy-efficiency improvements. New projects will also be built with $2.33 billion established for housing, hospitals and several 'quality-of-life' projects.  

The Department of Veterans Affairs will also get $1 billion in stimulus funds for maintenance and energy projects.  

In other federal building projects, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will get $7 billion from ARRA. Out of that money, at least $2 billion will be allocated for redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes, and another $1 billion will be for community Development Block Grants. HUD has also devoted $250 million for energy retrofits at HUD-assisted housing projects.

The size and dedication for green building in the US is enormous. The combination of large projects and openness to new technologies, creates substantial opportunities for suppliers of green products or services.

Opportunities exist for companies in: Engineering and design, specialized green building consultancy; Energy, air-conditioning and water efficiency equipment; Building monitoring and management systems; Facility/building management; Products that help score points under the various green building rating schemes; and Re-engineered devices and systems to accommodate integration.
The highest growth opportunity is in existing buildings with a US ratio of 85:1, i.e. 85 existing buildings will be green retrofitted for every new green construction building project. The multi-family, high-rise residential market continues to add LEED projects in various cities across the US, such as Washington DC, Seattle, Atlanta, Boston, New York City, San Francisco, Chicago and others associated with baby boomers and Generation X’ers to locate in large cities close to work and cultural attractions.

For LEED-new construction registered projects in the US, about 82 per cent of these are shared equally among non-profit corporations, state/local governments, and profit corporations. Only eight per cent are US federal agencies in LEED new constructions.

There are also strong opportunities for firms to partner with and supply to US firms operating or wanting to operate in their "home" market.

  2012 3rd International Conference on Environmental Science and Development (ICESD 2012)