Jennifer Baumert Powell
Green building services include construction, architecture, engineering, and related activities aimed at creating sustainable structures using environmentally responsible processes and materials. While the concept of building a structure to complement its surrounding environment is not new, there has been a sharp increase in the demand for green buildings and green retrofits in recent years. This trend can be linked to several factors, including a growing interest in cutting the costs associated with operating a structure, government regulations and incentives, and environmental concerns, among others. Available evidence suggests that U.S. exports and overseas sales of green building services are currently small. However, U.S. firms are internationally competitive, and growth in world markets offers substantial opportunities to green building firms that aim to provide their services abroad. This paper provides an overview of the U.S. and global markets for green building services; discusses factors that affect supply and demand for sustainable structures; examines trade in green building services as a component of overall trade in construction, architectural, and engineering services; and considers the outlook for the green building industry.