The US Green Building Council (USGBC) said that green buildings’ ability to help homeowners and businesses cut their costs, reduce the need to rely on foreign energy sources, and help provide green jobs will change the way people view the building industry.

“As research comes in from diverse sources examining the interest in green buildings among a wide range of Americans, the numbers keep painting the same picture,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president of the USGBC.

“The future of our built environment clearly centres on energy efficiency, water reduction, systems that encourage cleaner indoor air, the use of recycled and more sustainably developed materials, and communities that coexist with their environments.”

Among the reports flagged up by the USGBC is Turner Construction Company’s Green Building Barometer, which found that three-quarters of those involved in commercial property said the credit crunch will not discourage them from building green.

More than 80% said they would be ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ likely to seek LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certifications for buildings they are planning to build within the next three years.

The 2008 Green Survey: Existing Buildings, funded by Incisive Media, the Building Owners and Managers Association and the USGBC, found that more than 80% of commercial building owners have allocated funds to green initiatives for 2009.

A study by Greener World Media concluded that LEED-certified projects are directly tied to more than $10bn of green materials, and could reach more than $100bn by 2020.

And the McGraw-Hill Construction’s report The Green Home Consumer showed that 70% of homebuyers are more or much more inclined to buy a green home over a conventional one in a down housing market.

“Over and over again, Americans are saying the same thing – they key to a prosperous future is sustainability,” Mr Fedrizzi said.

Kate Martin

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