Green Building Construction for 2011
The U.S. green building market has defied the economic downturn and has a strong outlook for 2011. According to McGraw-Hill Construction’s Green Outlook 2011: Green Trends Driving Growth report the value of green building construction starts was up from $42B to $71B from 2008 to 2010 which is approximately 50% increase and represents 25% of all new construction activity in 2010. According to projections, the green building market size is expected to reach $135 billion by 2015.
Nonresidential buildings construction has proven to be the strongest sector for green building and represents a $54B market opportunity. Today a third of all new nonresidential construction is green. In five years nonresidential green building activity is expected to triple, representing $120 billion to $145 billion in new construction (40%-48% of the nonresidential market) and $14 billion to $18 billion in major retrofit and renovation projects.
Health Care Construction
Health care construction this year is expected to grow its green share to as much as 40% (valued at $8 billion-$9 billion in 2010) — phenomenal growth in just two years. Education (valued at $13 billion–$16 billion in 2010) and office green construction (valued at $7 billion–$8 billion in 2010) also remain strong sectors, showing high increases in market share, due in part to the fact that bigger projects are the most likely to “go green.” This year, the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED specification is mentioned in 71% of all projects valued at over $50 million.
Primary Reasons for Green Building Growth
* Reduction in operating costs of 13.6% on average for new buildings and 8.5% for retrofits;
* Increase in building values of 10.9% for new buildings and 6.8% for retrofits; and
* Increase in return on investment (ROI) of 9.9% for new buildings and 19.2% for retrofits.
California will add to this growth because on January. 1st California's CalGreen building code takes effect, mandating eco-friendly practices that were previously voluntary.
Green Housing Trends for 2011
The current housing crisis means fewer new homes being built. But are those that are being built designed based on what the crisis has shown us? According to Green House there is a new emphasis on smaller homes with fewer luxuries. The median size of new single-family homes fell from a peak of 2,268 square feet in 2006 to to 2,100 square feet in 2009, says the study by Paul Emrath, vice president for survey and housing policy research at the National Association of Home Builders He says part of the current decline may also be recession-related but he sees other factors at play, such as the desire to lower energy costs and less emphasis on homes as investments. "Not all of these trends are likely to reverse themselves immediately at the end of a recession," he writes. Jenny Sullivan, a senior editor of BUILDER, calls this "portion control." She cites nine other trends for 2011.
Glitz is gone (for now)
Simple and honest architecture is what is in demand as homeowners look to simplify and manage their lives easily – and their houses. Simple beauty will be the focus of interior design with a modest ‘Zen’ approach. Natural finishes, clean lines and less frivolous embellishments will be in style.
As people become more aware of wellness aspects more will want to surround themselves with healthier home options such as low VOC paints, stains, and sealants. There will be an increased demand for natural furnishing products made of hay, wheat, bamboo, aspen and other natural fibers that bring more of the outdoor elements inside.
As more families rely on each other for financial support including mortgage payments multigenerational households are proliferating. These types of homes are increasing for various reasons: boomerang kids moving home to save money; elderly parents who need family support; young parents relying on grandparent care for their kids; and rapid growth among immigrant families for whom shared living is a cultural tradition.
Urbanizing the Burbs
Along with the trend toward smaller homes is the growing interest in urbanism. City planners and developers are creating ways to create artisan shops and walkability into existing hotspots.
DYI Alive and Strong
Homeowners will continue to take care of their own leaky roofs, remodeling projects and other home improvement projects themselves. The value of homeowner improvements is on track to top $117.6 billion in 2010 and $133.7 billion in 2011, according to IBISWorld. Retrofitting existing homes to meet energy-efficient standards is expected to be a boon to business. According to Entrepreneur.com, the aging population's desire to "age in place" is fueling an uptick in universal design. More boomers are bypassing assisted living facilities--for their parents and themselves--and renovating their homes to be tastefully functional and accessible.