In addition to green materials manufacturers, distributors and builders, green technology development, service and architectural firms, just to name a few, stand to benefit from this growing market. Changes in consumer habits, geared increasingly toward the environmental and cost-saving benefits of sustainable building, as well as new government policies and regulations are contributing to these markets changes. As the nation continues to recover from the recession, these changes could not be more welcome.
Just ask Eric Robison, owner of Eagle Rock Construction in Oakland, Maryland. Robison has seen an increased interest in sustainable building, a strong indication that these trends are not limited to major cities where many innovative sustainable buildings have been built. About two years ago, Robison received a lead from potential customers who hoped to build a “passive” (very low energy consumption) home and barn in the Finzel area, just west of Frostburg. “Their plan was to have a medicinal herb garden/business and have as low a carbon foot print as possible. They wanted to have geothermal, solar and wind generation to assist with decreasing their footprint,” said Robison.
While the customers eventually backed out of the project because neighbors had leased their land for natural gas drilling, Robison and Eagle Rock were up to the challenge. Robison had conducted research on the materials and technology the customer hoped to use and was prepared to move forward with what could have been a great job for Eagle Rock Construction. Though the termination of the project is unfortunate, the interest in it confirms the green building market changes taking place.
These trends in the green building market suggest that there is hope for the future of the environment, even in the face of widespread backlash to the increased use of hydraulic fracturing and tar sands oil development. Many environmental activists exert enormous amounts of energy in battles that are difficult to win, but perhaps that energy would better serve the planet if channeled into efforts to promote new green technologies and green education. Either way, there are more green jobs to come and those who do feel concern for the future of the environment will find that many opportunities await in the green building market.