The overall green building market (both non-residential and residential) is likely to more than double from today’s $36-49 billion to $96-140 billion by 20131
The value of green building construction is projected to increase to $60 billion by 20102
The construction market accounts for 13.4% of the $13.2 trillion U.S. GDP3

Market Impact

  • The green market was 2% of non-residential construction starts in 2005; 10-12% in 2008; and will grow to 20-25% by 2013.
  • Comprises 13.4% of the $13.2 trillion U.S. GDP. This includes all commercial, residential, industrial and infrastructure construction. New commercial and residential building construction constitutes 6.1% of the GDP5.
  • Green building will support 7.9 million U.S. jobs and pump $554 million into the American economy over the next four years (2009-2013).


  • Buildings represent 38.9% of U.S. primary energy use (includes fuel input for production).
  • Buildings are one of the heaviest consumers of natural resources and account for a significant portion of the greenhouse gas emissions that affect climate change. In the U.S., buildings account for 38% of all CO2 emissions.
  • Buildings represent 72% of U.S electricity consumption.


  • Buildings use 13.6% of all potable water, or 15 trillion gallons per year.


  • Buildings use 40% of raw materials globally (3 billion tons annually).
  • The EPA estimates that 170 Million tons of building-related construction and demolition (C&D) debris was generated in the U.S. in 2003, with 61% coming from nonresidential and 39% from residential sources.
  • The EPA estimates that 209.7 million tons of municipal solid waste was generated in the U.S. in a single year.
  • Sectors Expected to Have Green Building Growth
  • Education
    • Government
    • Industrial
    • Office
    • Healthcare
    • Hospitality
    • Retail

What’s Driving Green Building?
These factors are expediting the growth of green building:

  • Unprecedented level of government initiatives
  • Heightened residential demand for green construction
  • Improvements in sustainable materials.

Why Build Green? Building green saves money

  • The cost per square foot for buildings seeking LEED certification falls into the existing range of costs for buildings not seeking LEED certification.
  • An upfront investment of 2% in green building design, on average, results in life cycle savings of 20% of the total construction costs – more than ten times the initial investment.
  • Building sale prices for energy efficient buildings are as much as 10% higher per square foot than conventional buildings.
  • Estimated Value of green construction starts:
    • 2000: $792 million
    • 2001: $3.24 billion
    • 2002: $3.81 billion
    • 2003: $5.76 billion
    • 2004: $4.51 billion
    • 2010 (projected): $60 billion (10% construction starts)
  • Real estate and construction professionals overestimate the costs of green building by 300%.
  • Perceived cost benefits of green building:
    • Operating costs decrease 8-9%
    • Building value increases 7.5%
    • Return on investment improves 6.6%
    • Occupancy ration increases 3.5%
    • Rent ratio increases 3%

Why Build Green? Green buildings consume less energy and fewer resources
In comparison to the average commercial building:

  • Green buildings consume 26% less energy
  • Green buildings have 13% lower maintenance costs
  • Green buildings have 27% higher occupant satisfaction
  • Green buildings have 33% less greenhouse gas emissions

Why Build Green? Green building occupants are more productive

  • An experiment identifies a link between improved lighting design and a 27% reduction in the incidence of headaches, which accounts for 0.7% of overall employee health insurance cost at approximately $35 per employee annually.
  • Sales in stores with skylights were up to 40% higher compared to similar stores without skylights.
  • Students with the most daylighting in their classrooms progressed 20% faster on math tests and 26% faster on reading tests in one year than those with less daylighting.
  • Corporate perception of whether green fosters innovation: 57% agree; 28% neutral and 15% disagree.
  • Improvements in indoor environments are estimated to save $17-48 billion in total health gains and $20-160 billion in worker performance.

Why Build Green? Green building occupants are healthier

  • People in the U.S. spend about 90% of their time indoors.
  • EPA studies indicate indoor levels of pollutants may be up to ten times higher than outdoor levels.
  • Significant associations exist between low ventilation levels and higher carbon dioxide concentrations – a common symptom in facilities with sick building syndrome.

Download the above USGBC Document