Growth in Green Building Materials to Continue

Alex Palmer, MHN ContributorNew York–The already substantial market for green building materials for both the commercial and residential properties will continue to grow, per NextGen Research. The global green building materials market valued at $455.3 billion last year is expected to reach $571 billion by 2013, per its new report “Green Building Materials: Making Cement, Insulation and Wood Products Increasingly Environmentally Friendly.” NextGen Research conducts research on the potential of new technologies, forecasting and quantifying near and mid-term market opportunities, and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the players involved.The greatest growth is forecast in green insulation, which is expected to grow by about 8 percent by 2013, engineered wood products by nearly 5 percent and cement by about 2 percent. This forecast is based on the year-over-year unit sales and production of sustainable materials.“It’s not super fast growth, but it’s incremental and shows the more people think about it, the more they are considering using it,” says Larry Fisher, research director of NextGen Research. Despite a dip in 2009 due to the economic downturn, sales are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5 percent over the next four years. A number of factors have contributed to this segment’s continued growth, including wider acceptance of LEED and other standards of environmental building and design, government mandates and wider availability of sustainable products. “If you go to a Home Depot or a Lowe’s you will see wood products that are labeled as having come from well-managed forests,” said Fisher. “The push in recent years for green in everything and the push by government to use more green materials only helps speed things up.”In determining the sustainability of green products, the report considered the full life cycle of the building products, including the production of the materials, their use in construction and how it is disposed of or recycled at the end of the building’s life.