A new report from eco-friendly market research group Lux Research stated that the total industry value for building-integrated vegetation projects – installations for roofs or walls designed to absorb heat and moisture – is growing substantially each year. In fact, by 2017, it is expected to hit $7.7 billion, a number that highlights the growing importance of carbon offsetting initiatives in 21st century building design.
According to the study, major cities around the globe are beginning to adopt the practice of mandating certain levels of architectural vegetation in order to reduce carbon dioxide output in those areas. The organization cites Tokyo, London and New York City as major metropolitan regions that have taken a shine to these advantages.
Additionally, Lux Research noted that a small yet growing market of companies that specifically service this industry are starting to take hold. Products such as roof-specific gardening systems and waterproofing materials are being sold in greater numbers.
"The environmental benefits of building-integrated vegetation remain hard to monetize, and many wonder if it's just a green curiosity," Aditya Ranade, the lead author of the report, said in a statement. "But with key cities around the world putting incentives in place, a significant market opportunity is emerging."
The second part of Ranade's statement might refer to tax policies put in place in recent years that entice home and commercial property owners to boost the energy efficiency of their buildings. While it remains to be seen if they will be viable in a long-term sense, these developments suggest that people are taking green habitability more seriously. In time, big cities could become the leading examples of how to approach the dream of sustainable living.