Sustainability in new construction and home goods continues to increase in importance each year.
Green construction is the largest sector of the fast-growing green economy, generating 38 percent of all green jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
According to the 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study prepared by Booz Allen Hamilton for the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), green building and LEED construction are increasing incrementally faster than general construction — and it shows no signs of slowing, with an estimated growth of 15.1 percent each year through 2018.
The 2015 study predicts the green building sector of the U.S. construction industry is slated for expansive growth. The research revealed that green building has created millions of jobs and contributed hundreds of billions of dollars to the U.S. economy — and LEED is considered to be a pivotal contributor to this total impact.
In 2015, green construction’s total impact on employment in 2015 equaled more than 2.3 million U.S. jobs, contributing $134.3 billion in labor earnings for working Americans.
By 2018, employment and revenue are projected to continue to grow rapidly, with the total impact of green construction reaching more than 3.3 million U.S. jobs and $190.3 billion in labor earnings. It is expected that green building will be responsible for more than one-third of all U.S. construction jobs, with LEED responsible for contributing to 1.1 million (roughly one-third) green construction jobs.
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“In 2015, green construction’s total impact on employment in 2015 equaled more than 2.3 million U.S. jobs, contributing $134.3 billion in labor earnings for working Americans.”
Green construction’s growth rate is outpacing that of conventional construction. As a result, the industry’s annual contribution to GDP is expected to almost double between now and 2018.
From 2011 to 2014, national green construction generated $167.4 billion in GDP. Over the next four years, it is predicted that number will jump to $303.5 billion, and the construction of LEED-certified buildings will account for about 40 percent of green construction’s overall contribution to GDP in 2015.
In 2014, LEED-related employment directly contributed $1.09 billion of individual income tax to their respective states, and is expected to contribute $1.5 billion by 2018. At that time, total state earnings related to LEED building construction is projected to total $8.4 billion. States nationwide are projected to receive increases in green construction jobs. For example, in Texas, 720,000+ jobs were attributable to green construction between 2011 and 2014. Nearly 1.26 million jobs are projected between 2015 and 2018.
Green buildings result in significant savings across energy, trash, water, and maintenance costs. Based on operations of green buildings constructed from 2015 through 2018, BAH estimated an aggregate savings of $2.4 billion in energy costs. It is projected that LEED-certified buildings will account for more than half of the energy savings in the green building sector ($1.2 billion).