to the Raleigh, N.C.-based management consulting practice’s report, the National Association of Home Builders Green
Building Conference, in April 2007, revealed that green building and remodeling is experiencing a level of demand that exceeds
the current supply of qualified firms. In fact, the overview indicates that, while demand for traditional residential construction
is slowing down, the green housing and materials markets are actually expanding. FMI’s report indicates that homeowners
are increasing their investment in sustainable housing due to improved economic paybacks resulting from high energy prices
and their growing sensitivity to environmental concerns. For this reason, the company suggests that green building is no longer
a niche sector.
will continue to grow,” says Rick Dutmer, consulting group manager for FMI. “It is not a question of whether your
firm should invest in understanding the green sustainable trend and how to produce sustainable projects, it’s how much
should you invest and how fast.”
The increased level of demand
for green products, combined with a strong non-residential market could offer dealers an opportunity to fill the gap until
residential construction rebounds. According to FMI’s overview, green nonresidential construction put in place was $13.4
billion in 2006 and by 2008 $21.2 billion of all new nonresidential construction will employ the use of green building principles.
In 2008, FMI suggests the three largest segments for nonresidential construction green building include: office, education
and health care. These three segments will account for more than 80 percent of total nonresidential green construction. Other
segments such as lodging and commercial are also experiencing green construction growth, with a 20 percent gain expected from
2007 to 2008.
Three Driving Factors
FMI reports that three major trends are pushing green building to the forefront
of the construction industry’s consciousness: an unprecedented level of government initiatives; heightened residential
demand for green construction; and improvements in sustainable materials.
indicates that green materials and building products are becoming more popular as consumers are becoming more knowledgeable
about their health and the environment. Consumers are now questioning the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in their carpet,
paint and wood and they are making a conscious effort to identify what building materials are healthier, more energy efficient
and economically sensible. FMI also credits improved distribution outlets for helping create greater demand.
FMI’s 2008 U.S. Construction Overview
has been published annually since 1977. It offers a comprehensive report on vital construction trends and forecasts the growth
or decline in each market segment and geographic region, noting both short-term and long-term considerations. For more information,