Green building materials resolute in tough economic conditions
THE RECESSION was not kind to the building and construction industry, be it residential, commercial or public. But there is one market sector that appears to have gone unscathed: materials for buildings of the green variety.
This was not the case just a few years ago. The sustainable building material market experienced a bit of a slump at the beginning of the recession, but in 2010, it began to bounce back with strong growth. Demand for sustainable materials is strong, as property owners, developers and regulators put a greater emphasis on cost savings, environmental protection, legal compliance and energy conservation.
Growth in sustainable building materials will be given a further boost by the expected recovery in overall construction activity, as the industry climbs out of the subprime mortgage crisis and real estate bubble collapse.
There are several reasons behind the robust health of the sustainable materials sector. Builders cannot afford to not build green anymore. While they are following demand, as awareness of environmental sustainability and energy efficiency is becoming widespread, there is also a matter of return on investment. As electricity rates go higher along with prices for natural gas and heating oil, the costs to heat and cool buildings are expected to rise sharply. Buildings that use innovative, energy-efficient materials help building owners and residents contend with escalating utility bills.