In an encouraging sign for HVAC, electrical, and plumbing professionals, the total spending on commercial construction in the United States inched up in February, 2013, to $47.52 billion. This is an increase of .55 percent over January’s figure and an increase of 3.54 percent from February, 2012.
In January, overall construction spending had fallen by 2.1 percent, the largest drop in 18 months. “Total spending was dragged lower by a deep drop in commercial real estate and the lowest level of government spending in more than six years.” That setback was seen as temporary, a view that February’s numbers seem to corroborate.
An especially encouraging sign for contractors is this February, 2013, analysis of the fastest-growing industries in the United States. Based on compound annual growth rate, author Simon Erickson finds Green & Sustainable Building Construction, at 22.8% CAGR, to be number-one on that list.
A stand-out fact that Erickson notes about green construction numbers is that the industry “was not only the fastest growing industry on the list, but it was also the largest market. The report anticipates a whopping $180 billion of growth will be seen in just the next five years, which will nearly triple its total size today. If you start to notice a lot more Energy Star rated appliances and energy-efficient air conditioners, now you know why.”
Forbes saw this coming a year ago: “The commercial buildings sector boasts the most explosive growth in green building. . . . By 2015, green buildings in the commercial sector are expected to triple, accounting for $120 billion to $145 billion in new construction and $14 billion to $18 billion in major retrofit and renovation projects.”
The challenge for commercial builders and contractors will be updating their materials, supplies and methods to take advantage of the momentum, and for all industry professionals to receive the necessary training in green building techniques.
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