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Burgeoning Green Roofs and Green Walls Market to be Worth $7.7 Billion in 2017

Lux Research

Green roof installations will rise 70% to 204 million square meters, but costs and lack of validation will limit their rise, says Lux Research.

BOSTON, MA – October 18, 2012 – Green roofs and green walls, sought to address environmental issues like air pollution, heat-island effect, and loss of green spaces in cities, will balloon into a $7.7 billion market in 2017, driven by mandates and incentives by cities across the globe, according to Lux Research.

Green roofs will account for $7 billion of the market, presenting a $2 billion opportunity to suppliers of polymeric materials such as geosynthetic fabrics and waterproof membranes. Green walls will swell to a $680 million market, using $200 million worth of materials such as self-supporting polyurethane foam growth media.

“The environmental benefits of building-integrated vegetation (BIV) remain hard to monetize, and many wonder if it’s just a green curiosity,” said Aditya Ranade, Lux Research Senior Analyst and the lead author of the report titled, “Building-Integrated Vegetation: Redefining the Landscape or Chasing a Mirage?” “But with key cities around the world putting incentives in place, a significant market opportunity is emerging.”

Lux Research analysts examined the drivers as well as barriers for growth in this emerging market. Among their findings:

  • Value proposition is a major barrier. Green roofs and walls offer a multitude of benefits, but installed cost – $300/m2 to $500/m2 for green roofs and $900/m2 to $1,100/m2 for green walls – is far higher than alternatives.

  • Adoption is driven by a handful of cities. With rising environmental awareness, growth of the green roof market is driven by cities in the developed world such as London, New York, Singapore, and Tokyo. Growth in the developing world will depend on the global economic environment.

  • Suppliers develop BIV materials. Building material suppliers will create special grades of waterproof membranes and geosynthetic fabrics suited for BIV, improving on existing offerings as the market becomes mainstream and performance standards more established.

The report, titled “Building-Integrated Vegetation: Redefining the Landscape or Chasing a Mirage?” is part of the Lux Research Sustainable Building Materials Intelligence service.