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Sustainable Design & Green Building

Market for green building materials is growing in the U.S.


As the world sees more effects from global warming in the years to come, the U.S. market for green building materials is expected to grow significantly. The BBC recently released a report predicting the industry's expansion through 2019.

Green building materials market is on the rise 
The BBC explained that green building materials market hit $40 billion in 2013 and grew to nearly $44 billion by 2014. Between now and 2019, the market is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 9.5 percent, bringing it to $69 billion in just four years. Both the interior and structural materials markets will contribute to this growth. Interior materials, valued at $9.5 billion in 2014, is expected to reach $14.7 billion in 2019. Structural materials will jump from $28.7 billion to $43.8 billion in the same amount of time. 

The market for green building materials in the U.S. is expected to grow significantly by 2019.The market for green building materials in the U.S. is expected to grow significantly by 2019.

The report cited research done by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that revealed how much man-made structures impact nature. The EPA explained that buildings in the U.S. account for 12 percent of all potable water consumption, 30 percent of raw materials use, 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, 30 percent of waste output, 36 percent of total energy use and 56 percent of electricity consumption. 

"Buildings account for 56 percent of electricity consumption."

Because people will perpetually need to keep constructing buildings, the EPA has issued guidelines on how to make them green and environmentally friendly. According to the government agency, sites should be selected with the natural surroundings and energy-efficient transportation options in mind. Renewable energy should be used not only to keep utility bills low, but to minimize carbon footprints and put natural resources to good use. 

Daylight should be taken advantage of from an architectural design standpoint to reduce the amount of artificial light needed to illuminate the building. Responsible water conservation and storm water management techniques should be practiced, air quality should be maintained and all building materials should be described as green. 

Businesses must become more environmentally aware 
According to a report from the Epoch Times, people in charge of building construction and management are becoming more aware of the harmful environmental effects of global warming, and are therefore investing more in green building materials. The source argues that drastic temperatures, both hot and cold, have presented unprecedented challenges and  expenses.

Because these consequences of global warming were largely caused by human industrial structures and practices, current facilities need to be vigilant about not contributing to these problems even further. The source noted that private and public sectors will need to come together to improve green building procedures and make environmentally-friendly construction techniques more ubiquitous. Many big name companies have already made strides toward increasing green building practices, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and Yahoo.