1. The weak economy will greatly reduce new construction starts in the short-term, but coming out of the recession there will be enormous pent-up demand for new green product.
2. A significant number of green projects are still in the pipeline (under construction), and USGBC reports a large backlog of completed green buildings awaiting certification. This means that the supply of new green buildings will continue to grow through the recession.
3. Green buildings are relatively limited in comparison to the demand for high-performance green buildings. When demand exceeds supply, this means that green buildings will continue to capture premiums in the market, even in a down economy.
4. The current recession will slow, but not fundamentally alter, the shift to green building in all sectors of the market.
5. The economic stimulus package includes billions of dollars for green retrofits (either grants or tax credits). This will spur green renovations in the near term. It is likely that these programs will continue after the economy improves.
6. State and local government mandates and incentives will further prop up the market for green renovations.
Edward McMahon is a Senior resident fellow for sustainable development at the Urban Land Institute.