The US Office of the Federal Environmental Executive defines green building as the practice of 1) increasing the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use energy, water, and materials, and 2) reducing building impacts on human health and the environment through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal — the complete building life cycle.
Green building practices rely on techniques and products that are better for the environment than industry-standard techniques and products. Green building products may include insulation with greater energy efficiency, concrete produced in an environmentally-friendly manner, or wood products from well-managed forests. Green building products are a key market within the global environmental movement.
According to the ABI Research market study “Green Building Products: Cement, Insulation and Wood Products Help Engineer a Greener World”, the global market for green building materials (the study focuses on cement, insulation and wood products) will grow from $455.3 billion in 2008 to reach $571 billion by 2013.
Explains Larry Fisher, Research Director of ABI Research’s NextGen research practice, “The most significant driver of growth in the green building materials sector is concern for the environment. While environmental preservation has been a topic of discussion for decades, only recently has the level of concern for the environment driven governments, manufacturers and consumers to respond.”
Many products classified as “green” have been on the market for many years. For example, the engineered wood product Oriented Strand Board (OSB) evolved from waferboard in the late 1970s, and has virtually replaced other building panels in new residential construction in many areas in North America. “Innovation, particularly in wood and insulation, is a key driver behind the growth of green building products,” Mr. Fisher says.
Mr. Fisher notes the growing role of government in setting environmental building standards and mandating the use of environmentally benign materials. “Regulatory agencies at the national and municipal levels increasingly require the construction of more energy-efficient and sustainable buildings. This is true across the globe, and as awareness of environmental challenges continues to grow, so will the level of governmental involvement in regulating the use of green building products.”
This report is published under the Energy & Green Technology Research Service, which is a part of NextGen, the ABI Research emerging technologies research incubator