Development trend and segmentation of the U.S. green building market: corporate perspective on green contractors and design firms

Yilong Han, Tianzhi He, Ruidong Chang*, Rui Xue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


In the past decade, the architecture, engineering, and construction industry has witnessed increasing growth in the green building market and continues to expect a promising future. Although companies in the industry have played a significant role in developing the green building market, scarce studies have analyzed changes in the market from the perspectives of these corporations. Also, few studies classify green building companies by characteristics. To fill these gaps of knowledge, we explored the characteristics of the US green building market from a corporate perspective, specifically investigating green contractors and design firms. We first collected data of 464 top US green building companies identified by the Engineering News-Record over the past decade and explored the development trend of the green building market, based on the green revenue generated by these companies. We found that the general growth trend in the US green building market in the past decade could be divided into three stages: a rapid-growth stage (2000-2008), a steady-growth stage (2009-2013), and a maturity and transformation stage (2014-2016). We then categorized the 464 organizations into three groups with distinct characteristics by k-means cluster analysis techniques, including mature green building companies, sector-oriented green building companies, and primary-stage green building companies. This study provides the academic and practitioner communities with a holistic understanding of the development of the US green building market from the view of burgeoning companies. Corporate-level management systems and sustainable practices of the three clusters of green building companies also provide guidance for construction companies in the various stages of transformation towards sustainability to adopt different strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number05020014
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number11
Early online date26 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • Cluster analysis
  • Engineering news record
  • Green building company
  • Green building market


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