The Health of the Economy is Tied to the Building Sector
Thriving Building Sector, Thriving Economy
A healthy economy relies on an active Building Sector because so many other sectors and industries are directly tied to it. Creating a demand for deep energy reductions in buildings is the most effective way to generate new jobs and revitalize the stagnant U.S. economy. Construction for energy reductions can be implemented immediately, reduces our dependence on fossil fuels, lowers greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and costs far less than building new energy sources such as coal, natural gas and nuclear plants. The construction industry employs millions of workers, which cannot be outsourced. In turn these local jobs help local economies, and generates massive amounts of private investment and spending. Privately held buildings represent 93% of total U.S. building stock. Targeting incentives and investing in efficiency in the private Building Sector adds value to our building stock and establishes the foundation for public infrastructure projects and services by generating the tax revenue needed for these projects.
Architecture 2030 has identified the critical intervention points for major transformation to affect change in the residential and commercial building sectors. Read the White Paper here.
Current Situation: Developing an Effective Response
The most pressing economic crisis facing the country today is the meltdown in the Commercial Real Estate (CRE) market. High rates of unemployment have led to increasing CRE vacancy rates, declining rents, and a 90% drop in CRE transactions. Between now and 2014, $1.4 trillion in CRE loans will be coming due, half of which are currently are underwater and many more near underwater and not able to refinance.
Today, the most effective means for thawing and stabilizing the CRE market is to provide incentives for building efficiency construction which will increase building owner cash flow, property values and the financial attractiveness of commercial property. CRE incentives will also encourage transactions and narrow the large spread between the current bid and ask price for commercial property. Due to our continuing high unemployment rate, any federal incentives should also be used as an opportunity to create jobs. Simply put, without more jobs, the markets cannot recover and the risk of additional defaults created by maturing commercial real estate loans will only worsen.
Architecture 2030 has put forth a bold initiative to address the CRE crisis called "The CRE Solution". To read The CRE Solution click here.
The Building Sector is a major driver of the U.S. and world economies. It touches nearly every industry (from steel, insulation, and caulking to mechanical and electrical equipment, glass, wood, metals, tile, fabrics and paint) across all sectors of the U.S. economy (from architecture, planning, design, engineering, banking, and development to manufacturing, construction, wholesale, retail, and distribution).