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Green Building Economic Impact Study

Posted by Content Coordinator on Monday, September 21st, 2015


Executive Summary

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) presents the Green Building Economic Impact Study, prepared by Booz Allen Hamilton (Booz Allen). The study explores the multifaceted economic contribution of green construction to the U.S. market. Building from the 2009 Green Jobs Study1 that Booz Allen compiled for USGBC, we have refined the methodology and data to account for the evolving market environment. In this study we have quantified the economic value creation from green construction and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building construction in gross domestic product (GDP), jobs, labor earnings, individual states’ tax contributions, and environmental indicators at the national and state levels. The increase in green construction spending is notable, however the direct, indirect, and induced economic impact of this growth is yet to be reported in detail. This study elucidates these direct, indirect, and induced economic impacts.

The future for the green industry is projected to see positive growth for years to come, with its influence reaching across the U.S. economy with significant environmental and social benefits being generated to protect the people and the planet. Our findings show that green building construction growth currently outpaces general construction and will continue to do so through 2018. Annual green construction spending is expected to grow 15.1% year over year (YoY) for 2015-2018, with annual spending projected to increase from $150.6 billion in 2015 to $224.4 billion in 2018. LEED construction spending is forecast to have a year-over-year growth rate of 12.3%, increasing from a $61.8 billion spending in 2015, to $78.6 billion spending in 2018. LEED residential is forecasted at a high YoY growth rate of 31.1% during the period of 2015 to 2018, reflecting its potential given the historically small market penetration. The LEED commercial forecast demonstrates a steady YoY growth rate of 8.5% for 2015-2018. Estimates of the economic impact of green building construction for 2015-18 show a significant increase in impact on GDP, jobs, and labor earnings as compared to 2011-14.

National Green Construction Cumulative Direct Economic Impact

From 2011-2014, the green construction market has:

  • Generated $167.4 billion in GDP
  • Supported over 2.1 million jobs
  • Provided $147.7 billion in labor earnings

From 2015-2018, this study predicts that green construction will:

  • Generate an additional $303.4 billion in GDP
  • Support 3.9 million jobs
  • Provide $268.4 billion in labor earnings

National LEED Construction Cumulative Direct Economic Impact

From 2011-2014, LEED-related construction spending has:

  • Generated $80.6 billion in GDP
  • Supported 1 million jobs
  • Provided $70.9 billion in labor earnings

From 2015-2018, this study forecasts that LEED-related construction spending will:

  • Generate an additional $108.8 billion in GDP
  • Support 1.4 million jobs
  • Provide $95.7 billion in labor earnings


Download full version (PDF): Green Building Economic Impact Study

About the U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous, healthy and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building certification program, robust educational offerings, a nationwide community and volunteer network of thousands of individuals, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the Center for Green Schools and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities.

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