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New Study: Green Building to Support Nearly 8 Million U.S. Jobs Over Next 4 Years

Despite a challenging economic outlook, green building will support 7.9 million U.S. jobs and pump $554 billion into the American economy — including $396 billion in wages — over the next four years (2009-2013), according to a new study from the U.S. Green Building Council and Booz Allen Hamilton. The study also determined that green construction spending currently supports more than 2 million American jobs and generates more than $100 billion in gross domestic product and wages.

The economic impact of the total green construction market from 2000 to 2008, the study found, contributed $178 billion to U.S. gross domestic product; created or saved 2.4 million direct, indirect and induced jobs; and generated $123 billion in wages.

The study also assessed the U.S. Green Building Council's 19,000-plus member organizations and found that they generate $2.6 trillion in annual revenue, employ approximately 14 million people, come from 29 industry sectors and include 46 Fortune 100 companies.

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The study was released at the USGBC's annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the industry's largest gathering of representatives from all sectors of the green building movement.

"Our goal is for the phrase 'green building' to become obsolete, by making all building and retrofits green — and transforming every job in our industry into a green job," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chairman of USGBC. "This study validates the work that the 25,000 people gathered here at Greenbuild, and every member of our movement, do every day."

The study considered the total value of green buildings and the results include workers from the architects who design them to the construction laborers who pour their foundations to the truck drivers who deliver the materials, in recognition of the how extensive the impact of green building is.

"The study demonstrates that investing in green buildings contributes significantly to our nation's wealth while creating jobs in a range of occupations, from carpenters to cost estimators," said Gary Rahl, Officer, Global Government Market, Booz Allen Hamilton. "In many ways, green construction is becoming the standard for development. As a result, it is expected to support nearly 8 million jobs over the next five years, a number four times higher than the previous five years."

The full report can be downloaded at www.usgbc.org/greeneconomy, where one can also find other research, resources, tools and information about green building and its role in the economic recoveries of professionals, businesses and the nation.

Among the report's findings:

The economic impact of the total green construction market:

  • Contribution to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP)
    o 2000-2008: $173 billion
    o 2009-2013 forecast: $554 billion
  • Jobs created or saved (includes direct, indirect and induced jobs)
    o 2000-2008: 2.4 million
    o 2009-2013 forecast: 7.9 million
  • Wages
    o 2000-2008: $123 billion
    o 2009-2013 forecast: $396 billion
  • Energy savings
    o 2000-2008: $1.3 billion saved
    o 2009-2013 forecast: $6 billion saved

The economic impact of LEED-specific spending*:

  • Contribution to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP)
    o 2000-2008: $830 million
    o 2009-2013 forecast: $12.5 billion
  • Jobs created or saved (includes direct, indirect and induced jobs)
    o 2000-2008: 15,000
    o 2009-2013 forecast: 230,000
  • Wages
    o 2000-2008: $703 million
    o 2009-2013 forecast: $10.7 billion
  • Energy savings
    o 2000-2008: $281 million saved
    o 2009-2013 forecast: $4.8 billion saved

*These figures only account for LEED-specific spending, not the value of LEED-certified buildings as a whole.



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