Report: Green roof and wall market worth $7B by 2017

Green roofs and walls are growing to become a $7 billion business in five years.

Green roofs and walls are growing to become a $7 billion business in five years. 

Citywide mandates around the world will drive the green roof and green wall business to a $7.7 billion market by 2017 according to a report out this month from Lux Research.

Green roofs, also called ecoroofs, and green walls — exterior walls that incorporate planters — are being used to counter air pollution, provide stormwater treatment and to counter the head island effect generated in dense cities.

Aditya Ranade, a senior analyst at Lux, said that the sector of building-integrated vegetation has been a difficult one to make money in, the market is starting to mature.

"With key cities around the world putting incentives in place, a significant market opportunity is emerging," Ranade said in a press release.

Specifically, green roofs will create a $2 billion opportunity to suppliers of the waterproof membranes and other materials that provide a barrier between the roof and the vegetation. Green walls will capture $680 million of the overall market.

Portland has been offering green roof incentives since 2008. Other cities driving the adoption of ecoroof development include London, New York, Singapore and Tokyo.

Portland State University's Green Building Research Center offers an online Green Roof Energy Calculator, partially funded by the U.S. Green Building Council, to help developers gauge the energy benefits of green roofs compared to traditional roofs.

Portland State is also working with Columbia Green Technologies, a Portland startup, to measure and track the ability of ecoroof systems to manage stormwater runoff in urban settings. That effort received an $80,000 commercialization grant from Oregon BEST in September.

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