Britain urged to export green building know-how to US

The Government has urged the UK's green architects and engineers to cash in on the opportunities offered by the thriving American sustainable construction market.

As the multi-billion dollar US market for green building services and products develops, driven by energy and financial savings as well as environmental concerns, the UK’s highly developed green building industry should make the most of export opportunities, UK Trade and Investment said.

The governmental organisation charged with promoting international trade is pushing for more export of British expertise relating to low-emission and passive buildings and building materials, as well as green manufacturing.

The US has the biggest construction market in the world, accounting for 25% of total global demand, with green construction taking an increasing important role.

By 2010, between 5 and 10% of new non-residential construction is estimated to require green building expertise – a market amounting to $10.2bn – $20.5bn according to UKTI.

Speaking at a seminar briefing British business on how to best sell green construction skills in America’s thriving market, UKTI chief executive Andrew Cahn said: “The green buildings market is growing rapidly, especially within the USA, creating a number of great opportunities for UK companies to take the lead in this field.

“UKTI is working with British Expertise and RIBA to help UK companies obtain access to the potential $20 billion market in the US.”

Scot Horst, chair of the US Green Building Council’s LEED Steering Group, a speaker at the seminar, said: “Environmental issues do not have borders. I am excited to be involved with any effort that assists in learning how to build better buildings; buildings that reflect a concern for our shared circumstances.

“The opportunities for this learning in the USA are great because we consume more than our share of resources. In the US we add approximately 1 billion square feet of commercial construction annually. We have to build better and learning from each other is one of the best ways to do this.”

Graham Hand chief executive of British Expertise, one of the seminar’s organisers, said: “The UK has a great deal of experience and expertise using green building materials and making buildings sustainable.

“This seminar will show leading green build companies how this market within the US can be accessible to them. British Expertise and UKTI is able to assist and advise companies wanting to expand their potential,” he said.

Goska Romanowicz

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