'Green' construction industry growth projected to continue
A study commissioned by the U.S. Green Building Council projects a more than $300 billion national economic impact through sustainable or ‘green’ practices over the next several years.
Cheri Holman is the executive director of the West Michigan Green Building Council.
She says the economic impact of sustainable building in the state grew by nearly 14 percent in the past five years.
“I think we care here in Michigan about environmental issues," Holman says, "and it’s important to our private sector and our public sector to build green buildings and secure our environmental quality for the future.”
In Michigan, the Booz Allen Hamilton report says green construction had an $11.3 million economic impact and contributed 132,000 jobs from 2011 to 2014.
That’s expected to grow to 242,000 by 2018.
Holman says a number of factors contribute to an interest in green development locally.
She attributes some of this to a new generation and its attitude toward sustainability.
“It certainly seems like our millennials that are coming out of college have considerable interest in living, working, and being in sustainable buildings," Holman says. "Their whole culture is different.”
Holman points to the WMGBC’s Battle of the Buildings as an example of business interest in the state.
The program was recently recognized by Governor Rick Snyder and involves companies competing for the title of 'biggest loser' in terms of energy, space and material efficiencies.