Seattle, WA

Seattle is going all-in on sustainability. Its government has pledged to get all of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030 and become completely carbon-neutral by 2050.

Both dates are approaching fast. Fortunately for us in the construction industry, this push presents a great opportunity. City officials have made major investments in green energy, tram and light-rail networks, and mixed-use developments. Seattle’s new ice hockey team, the Kraken, even plays on recycled rainwater from the roof of their arena. The goal is to position Seattle as a leader in sustainable development and to grow expertise that can be exported across the country and beyond. Seattle is just old enough to have grown around its streetcar lines, so incorporating mass transit into this plan is comparatively easy. Much of the city’s construction volume lies in the residential sector, and around 40% of that volume is in renovations. This will probably only increase in the coming years, as many homes will need to comply with new environmental standards. The labor market has grown steadily here to meet much of this demand, but it has not been enough to keep labor costs constant.

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* Other structures include religious buildings, amusement, government communications, and public recreation projects.
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