A recent study by Booz Allen Hamilton, prepared for the US Green Building Council, examined the overall impact of green building in 2015 and its projected impacts on the construction industry in future years. Its overall findings concluded that green building is growing at a pace much faster than conventional building and even predicts that it will account for one-third of all building in 2018, only a short 3 years away.
According to the report, titled 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study, approximately 134.3 billion in labor income is due to the green construction industry in the United States, which equates to over 2 million jobs. By 2018, the study predicts those numbers will jump to $190.3 billion in earnings and over 3.3 million jobs.
"Our research shows that green building has created millions of jobs and contributed hundreds of billions of dollars to the U.S. economy, with the construction of LEED-certified buildings accounting for about 40 percent of green construction's overall contribution to GDP in 2015," said David Erne, a Senior Associate at Booz Allen. "This industry is certainly on the rise, and aggressive growth in the green building sector is anticipated over the next four years."
Among the states the study believes to have the largest effect on the increase in green construction from 2015-2018 are Texas ($107.13 billion), California ($91.22 billion), Florida ($76.23 billion), New York (48.97 billion), and North Carolina ($39.26 billion). Perhaps most importantly, the study estimates that green and LEED construction projects combined will generate $3.6 billion in energy savings, $153.4 million in trash savings, $405 million in water savings, and $2.2 billion in maintenance savings.
2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study | US Green Building Council
Infographic below courtesy of USGBC
A new 21-story apartment building proposed for Milwaukee, Wisconsin as received unanimous approval from the City Plan Commission. If built, the new tower could possibly be North America’s tallest mass timber building.
The USGBC recently released their 2018 ranking of the Top 10 US States for LEED construction, which is sorted by Gross Square Footage per Capita. That ranking system allows them to get a fair comparison of states, despite differences in population and number of buildings.
Tall buildings made with structural timber have been on the rise in Canada and European countries in recent years, but the United States has been slower to adopt the method due to code restrictions. The state of Oregon recently released an addendum to their building code to allow taller mass timber buildings in the state and an upcoming International Code Council (ICC) vote could encourage more states to follow suit.
You may have been sitting in your house or office one day and noticed the distinct sound of a bird hitting the window. It’s pretty common, as it’s estimated that as many as 988 million birds die in the US each year by colliding into glass. The new arena that will house the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks has incorporated some design elements that will reduce the amount of birds killed by the massive structure, allowing it to be dubbed the “World’s Most Bird Friendly Sports Arena.”
Dubai has been on the bleeding edge of pushing the boundaries of construction for over a decade. The famous Burj Khalifa, the current World’s Tallest Building, but the United Arab Emirates on the map. Since then, the country has poured money and resources into the construction industry and have sets their sights on a new challenge: 3D construction printing.
Across the United States, any mass timber building designed to be taller than six stories high has to receive special approval from the building codes department. After a recent addendum was added to the Oregon’s building code, the state has become the first in the country to allow high rise mass timber buildings without receiving any special considerations.
Last summer, Tesla announced that the first of their solar roof tiles had been installed on test houses. However, as has become customary with many Tesla products, the company is experiencing significant manufacturing delays.
Since the dawn of green buildings, these projects have always been synonymous with LEED certification. The process of obtaining that LEED certification has not always been an easy one for contractors; there is a ton of paperwork and documentation that needs to take place in order to prove all LEED credits have been rightfully earned. A new construction standard, called BREEAM, is hoping to disrupt the United States’ green building certification world with its impending New Construction Standard Release in 2019.
One of the biggest hassles of site work in construction is the hauling away of spoils. It’s costly and time consuming to bring in truck after truck to take unneeded soil off to an unknown dump site. When Elon Musk and his team, The Boring Company, started digging a tunnel for a HyperLoop system in Los Angeles, they knew there had to be a better way to handle to soil than to haul it away.