Green building market continues to grow

By Tim Wright | October 30, 2008

This month Coatings World for the first time explores the world of green building-one of the hottest trends happening now-and how paint companies and raw material suppliers are responding to the green wave of the future.

A recent survey showed that more than 70% of the architects, engineers, contractors and building owners interviewed expect a significant increase in their income from green building. Of those surveyed, some 60% of those industry professionals are now regularly including green techniques in their new construction projects.

In 2006 McGraw-Hill Construction projected that by 2010, between five to ten percent of new non-residential construction starts will be designed using the principles of green building.

The residential green building market, which has been slower to grow versus the commercial sector, is expected to be worth $12-20 billion representing six to ten percent of the market this year. That's up from just two percent in 2005. By 2012 the market is expected to double to 12-20% market share or $40-70 billion.

Green building is no longer simply a fad or trend, but is becoming the norm as evidenced by the enactment of recent legislation at the state and federal level. In July 2008, California became the first state in the nation to adopt a green building code for all new construction. The California Building Standards Commission adopted the California Green Building Standards Code, which will be voluntary until 2010, when its provisions are expected to become mandatory.

The U.S. Government is also offering up incentives for building owners to "go green" in the form of tax deductions. On Oct. 3 President Bush extended through 2013 the Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction-a deduction for commercial building owners whose buildings meet certain energy standards. The deduction is as much as $1.80 per square foot for buildings that achieve a 50% energy savings target.

While in the overall green building scheme paint and coatings play a relatively minor roll-they account for just one point in the LEED rating system and total a mere one percent of a new building total cost-they do contribute to indoor air quality and for that reason, particularly in schools and hospitals, green coatings technology is a vital component to the market moving forward.

Tim Wright