CONNstruction - Summer 2009 - (Page 9)

newsandviews The Future will be Lean and Green The recent downturn in the economy, the onset of the national stimulus packages, local energy and ecological pressures, and a universal interest in environmentally safe construction have expanded the green building sector. The past few years have seen huge growth in the “new green construction market sector,” which now touches almost every section of the industry. The number of LEED certified green buildings doubled in 2008. Much of this increase is due to the fact that buildings that were started one or two years ago are now being completed and achieving certification. The increase in LEED certifications is expected to continue in 2009 as USGBC begins to outsource the certification process in an effort to eliminate the 17,400 project backlog they had at the start of this month. The U.S. market for green building materials generated sales of almost $57 billion in 2008. This market is projected to expand over 7 percent annually to more than $80 billion in 2013, outpacing the growth of building construction expenditures over that period. Lumber and wood panels are expected to be the fastest growing green products, along with water-efficient plumbing fixtures and fittings, and energy-efficient lighting fixtures. Demand for each of these products is forecast to grow at a double-digit pace through 2013, but account for only a small share of total green building materials market. Green floor coverings are projected to be the largest source of green building materials demand. Concrete made from recycled materials (such as fly ash and blast furnace slag) had the second largest share of green building materials demand in 2008. The use of recycled materials in concrete not only reduces the volume of waste sent to landfills, but often enhances the By John B. Farnham CCIA Director of Administration AGC/CT Executive Director performance of the concrete. Going forward, demand for concrete made from recycled materials is forecast to grow 8.4 percent per year to $14.3 billion in 2013, accounting for an increasing share of total concrete used. Recently, McGraw-Hill Construction Analytics released Global Green Building Trends – a 50-page printed report that examines the results of research conducted by regarding the global green building industry. In this first-ever global scale green building study, McGraw-Hill found market trends and activities driving green building growth worldwide. The new research presented in the report indicates that green building has become a global phenomenon, with 53 percent of respondents expecting to be dedicated to green on over 60 percent of their projects in the next five years. Green has become very visible in construction markets in every global region, with 32 percent of construction industry professionals estimating that green already makes up over 10 percent of domestic construction output. The report also identifies trends in renewable energy, green product use, sector growth and key motivators and obstacles impacting market activity in seven global regions. The cost of green building is coming down – this according to Davis Langdon & Seah, an international construction consulting firm based in Sacramento, Calif., who recently released a report challenging the long-held belief that sustainable building costs significantly more than traditional construction. “When you calculate the statistics for buildings of similar type, there is a slight to no difference,” says Peter Morris, a principal in the firm and one of the study’s authors. Many projects, according to the study, achieve sustainable design within their initial budget or with small supplemental funding, which “suggests that owners are finding ways to incorporate project goals and values, regardless of budget, by making decisions,” the paper states. These decisions, Morris says, result in green buildings that cost about the same as non-green ones. Interesting – and all the more reason why green is here to stay. All of these indications point to a heightened green building industry well into the future. According to several industry analysts, we are just beginning to experience the impact of these sweeping changes occurring in this new challenging era of environmentally conscientious construction. CONNstruction / Summer 2009 / 9

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CONNstruction - Summer 2009

CONNstruction - Summer 2009
Adapting to Change
The Future will be Lean and Green
Think Regionally, Act Regionally
Demanding Notice and an Opportunity to Be Heard When a State Agency Changes its Rules: A Call for Democracy
U.S. Supreme Court Expands Employee Protection Against Retaliation
ConsensusDOCS™: Dare to Change
Reauthorization of Federal SAFETEA-LU
Get on the Bus: LiUNA
Get on the Bus: LiUNA
Economic Downturn Gives Owners Time for Business Exit Strategy Planning
AGC/CT Annual Meeting
CONNDOT-CAAPA Paving Conference
Senator Lieberman Visit
UCAC’s Spring General Membership Meeting
Local 478 Education Trust Dinner
Index to Advertisers

CONNstruction - Summer 2009