Constructing a booming market

Whether green buildings will be voluntary or mandated in New Jersey, the overall green construction trend is booming despite the US housing slump.

Green home building has already gone mainstream and is expected to be worth $12 to $20 billion (6%-10% of the market) this year, according to a new report from McGraw-Hill. The report said that 40% of builders think green building helps them market their homes in a down market.

“We have hit the tipping point for builders going green. This year has seen an 8% jump over last year, and we expect another 10% increase next year.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said they are also implementing new green building strategies in order to spread the adoption of green building practices nationwide.

While major businesses such as Kohl’s, Roche, Chevron, among many announced their green building investments, chemical companies, on the other hand, are trying to cash in on this trend with new environment-friendly/energy-saving construction materials.

Rohm and Haas is promoting its elastomeric roof coatings to help reduce cooling costs; cellular PVC materials for green decking; and water-based paints as alternative to solvent-based products.

Berry Plastics said its formaldehyde-free Thermo-ply protective sheating is a non-toxic 100% polyvinyl alcohol, which reduces home energy use by lessening air infiltration. The sheating is said to be also constructed with 100% recycled materials (80% post consumer waste and 20% post-industrial material), and is 99% recyclable.

With asbestos and lead paint litigations still nipping some chemical firms’ heels, and if green building will potentially be mandated in some states, it is advisable for both construction and chemical industries to look for friendlier alternatives.

In a related issue, the consulting firm EH&E recently released a white paper to help building owners, developers, and others minimize the looming risks and costs caused by the discovery of PCBs in their construction materials.

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