Green Construction is Major Driver of Michigan Economy, New Study Finds

The Grand Rapids region continues to be recognized as a leader in green construction, and prospects will only get stronger as green building jobs in Michigan grow to 242,000 between 2015-2018

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Sept. 16, 2015) — The green building sector is outpacing overall construction growth in the U.S. and will account for more than 2.3 million American jobs this year – including 132,000 in Michigan between 2011-2014 – according to a new U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) study from Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE:BAH).

The 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study, released today by USGBC and prepared by Booz Allen, finds the green building industry contributes more than $134.3 billion in labor income to working Americans. The study also finds that green construction’s growth rate is rapidly outpacing that of conventional construction and will continue to rise.

The Grand Rapids region has long been recognized as a leader in green construction,” said Cheri Holman, executive director of USGBC West Michigan chapter. “This study shows we have a golden opportunity to take the next step and advance this emerging industry even further in our state. That’s why state and local governments should find ways to promote a sector of our economy that is delivering on jobs and income and has the potential for so much growth.”

By 2018, the study finds, green construction will account for more than 3.3 million U.S. jobs – more than one-third of the entire U.S. construction sector – and generate $190.3 billion in labor earnings. The industry’s direct contribution to U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is also expected to reach $303.5 billion from 2015-2018.

In Michigan, green construction accounted for 132,000 jobs between 2011-2014 – slated to rise to 242,000 between 2015-2018. The impact of green construction in Michigan will contribute more than $20 billion to the U.S. GDP between 2015-2018, with labor earnings of more than $13 billion between 2015-2018.

The new USGBC analysis also explores the multifaceted economic contribution of green construction to the U.S. economy and individual U.S. states, quantifying the economic impact of green building and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

“Green building is playing a massive role in the U.S. construction sector, the clean and efficient energy sector and the U.S. economy as a whole,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “More than 2.3 million U.S. workers are taking home $134 billion annually in large part because of green building programs like LEED. Demand for green building will only continue to grow as individuals, businesses and institutions continue to prioritize sustainable approaches to the design, construction and operations of our built environment.”

In addition to national jobs, GDP and labor earnings from green building, the study projects significant growth in the sector’s contribution to individual states’ tax contributions and environmental asset indicators at both the national and state levels.

Total state earnings related to LEED building construction projects are estimated to total $8.4 billion between 2015-2018. As a result, green building will also contribute to significant savings across energy, trash, water and maintenance costs.

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About U.S. Green Building Council

USGBC is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building program, robust educational offerings, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the Center for Green Schools and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. For more information, visit usgbc.org, explore the Green Building Information Gateway (GBIG) and connect on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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