What's Driving Green?

Residential Design & Build magazine’s columnist John D. Wagner, who says he traveled thousands of miles across the U.S. to speak to contractors and designers alike about the green building industry in 2009, predicts that the future is green, and you’d better have a plan to capitalize on it, or prepare to be left in the dust.

So, what’s driving green? According to Wagner, the answer is twofold. GreenIdeas

“Part one is consumer demand; 90 percent of Americans agree there are ‘important green issues and problems,’ according to the NAHB. How do consumers express those concerns when shopping? They buy green products that make them part of the green solution. And who should they buy from? Well, the same NAHB study showed that 82 percent of Americans believe it is ‘important for companies to implement environmentally friendly practices.’ If you have done that and trained yourself to be knowledgeable about green, you’ve put yourself in the path of money, money that has been flowing in markets both good and bad.

“Part two is comprised of codes and regulations. There has been a proliferation of green building codes and energy efficiency requirements nationwide, and this has been expressed at the national, state and local levels. The American Institute of Architects recently reported that 92 cities with populations greater than 50,000 have established green building programs, up from 22 just four years earlier, which is a 318 percent increase. Whether or not you agree with this trend is not important. What matters is how well-educated and trained you are to sell in the markets where green building products are being required by code.”

Those numbers speak pretty loudly. Looking for more proof? According to McGraw Hill Construction, in the next five years alone, green building will grow into a $96 to $140 billion market.

What are you waiting for?