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USGBC jobs finds “Green building to support nearly 8 million U.S. jobs over next 4 years”

By Joe Romm

"USGBC jobs finds “Green building to support nearly 8 million U.S. jobs over next 4 years”"

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USGBC/Booz Allen Hamilton Report Shows Green Construction to Contribute $554 Billion to U.S. GDP Between 2009 and 2013.

USGBC

The U.S. Green Building Council is having its huge annual conference now — you can watch live streams and archived videos of the leading experts on clean energy and energy efficiency here.  And they just released a major new “Green Jobs Study” done by Booz Allen, which concluded:

The results of this study show that the economic impact from green building construction is significant and will continue to grow as the demand for green buildings rises. Green construction spending currently supports over 2 million jobs and generates over 100 billion dollars in gross domestic product and wages.  By the year 2013, this study estimates that green buildings will support nearly 8 million jobs across occupations ranging from construction managers and carpenters to truck drivers and cost estimators.

The study is well worth reading — or grab some PowerPoint slides.  Here’s more from the press release:

“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.”

Kudos to USGBC and Booz Allen.  H/t Mnn.com.

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4 Responses to USGBC jobs finds “Green building to support nearly 8 million U.S. jobs over next 4 years”

  1. ken levenson says:

    I’m a member of the USGBC and support their efforts to transform the building industry toward sustainability. However few understand that, at least up to this point, their flagship LEED program misses the mark when it comes to energy efficiency. The beautiful glass facades you see wrapping many LEED certified buildings are no more an efficient enclosure than a stone hut constructed 5,000 years ago. In fact many LEED buildings actual performance is worse than our typical existing building stock.

    It’s great that with LEED we are thinking holistically about sustainability issues, but the energy consumption for AC and heating are still going up, up, up! This is a huge problem.

    The USGBC is to be commended for recognizing these problems and there is talk of making LEED certification revocable if the buildings don’t perform as advertised. (Some Platinum buildings don’t even meet current energy codes! This can happen because certification is based on projected performance and not actual performance.)

    If we are serious about energy efficiency the energy portion of LEED and the USGBC’s efforts needs to be far more rigorous. Given we need to lower energy consumption by 80% by 2050 or 2030 better still and our buildings are likely to stand for 50 years and more, shouldn’t are goal be 80% reductions now? Yet Energy Star and LEED only ask for incremental steps of 15% to 30% – significant reductions to be sure but hardly what the crisis requires.

    It is my hope that the USGBC, Energy Star and others would adopt the Passive House building approach in tackling building energy efficiency. Passive House was developed in Germany in the 1990′s and is now spreading around the world.

    Passive House is a truly integrated approach to building design and construction that results in cost effective, healthy and comfortable buildings that reduce AC and heating energy consumption by a whopping 90% and overall energy use by up to 75%. It is doing this now, without fancy technology and without renewables. In Austria Passive House now dominates the residential market and is being used for commercial, institutional and industrial buildings. I encourage everyone to find out more about Passive House at http://www.passivehouse.us

    A footnote: in the recently completed Solar Decathlon, the 1st and 2nd place winners – Team Germany and the University of Illinois entries were the only two built to Passive House standards. The DOE should start supporting Passive House in America in a big way!

  2. ken levenson says:

    Also, I want to ask, addressing the report at hand: where did the estimated energy savings totals come from for LEED buildings on page 18 of the report? Because it’s my understanding that the USGBC doesn’t really know what they are saving.

    Those interested should read “Energy Performance of LEED® for New Construction Buildings” March 4, 2008 – a report commissioned by the USGBC (based on voluntary self-reporting). see via google…

    And then read “A Better Way to Rate Green Buildings” by Henry Gifford. see at http://www.energysavingscience.com

  3. paulm says:

    Its long been suspect that the window of time we have is not big enough to allow for the change over to a low carbon world and maintain current standard of living we enjoy …

    Britain’s renewable energy targets are ‘physically impossible’, says study
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/12/britain-renewable-energy-targets-impossible

    “The institution believes it’s time to go to war on climate change – the climate is about to attack us and it’s time for us to fight back,” said Fox.

    they called for the government to adopt a “war-time” mentality in their approach to dealing with climate change

    He said that, even if the UK could cut its energy demand in half by 2050 through efficiency improvements, the country still needs 16 new nuclear power plants between now and 2030, and an additional 4 by 2050. Around 27,000 wind turbines would need to be built by 2030 and an additional 13,000 by 2050. That would be in addition to ramping up solar power, waste and biomass plants and developing a smart electricity grid and advanced energy-storage technologies.

  4. nan rollison says:

    I am encouraged by the USGBC’s efforts and recent Booz/Allen report. Couple of points:

    1. I agree on the earlier comment re: PassiveHouse technique. Hope American builders start taking this on while we ramp up renewables.

    2. Would like to see some sort of economic incentives for shopping mall owners to sell or convert big box stores to condos, mixed use. What with downturn in consumer purchasing – store conversion could lead to new revenue sources as rental condos, townhouses, mixed use.

    3. Reduce new constuction in rural, undeveloped lands. Create incentives to allow for retrofitting existing buildings,both residential and commerical. Forests are among the cheapest ways to mitigate climate change and protect and retain water – a key issue in numberous parts of the country w/ climate change. But builders usually find buying rural and farmland cheaper to build. Suggest working with local governments and planning commissioners to write regulations that make it cheaper and easier for builders to buy downtown and renovate using Passive House, and other high energy, USGBC methodology.