Green construction booms as housing market tanks
February 21, 2007
Sellers of materials used in green construction "are continuing to see gangbuster sales, almost as though the housing boom that ended a year ago were still at full tilt," writes Jim Calton. "Materials are considered 'green,' in industry parlance, when they generally help reduce energy use more than conventional materials or are manufactured in a way that has less of an impact on the environment."
Meanwhile, sales of some traditional building materials fell during 2006. The U.S. Census Bureau projects a 12 percent decline in sales of lumber and construction materials for in December 2006 relative to a year ago. Manufacturers of traditional building products -- including Georgia-Pacific Corp., Weyerhaeuser, and Louisiana-Pacific Corp. -- are scrambling to recast their products as "green", writes Carlton.
While traditional construction slows, a report released last June by the National Association of Home Builders and McGraw-Hill Construction projects a 5-10% increase in new "green" homes by 2010.
Calton notes that recent demonstrations for green communities have seen "standing-room only attendance."
Citation: "While Housing Withers, 'Green' Materials Bloom" by Jim Carlton. The Wall Street Journal February 21, 2007; Page A1.