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Mapping the Green Building Industry: How Local are Architects and General Contractors?

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Abstract

This paper is an empirical analysis of the geography of the green building economy within the United States, based on the location of the architects and contractors involved in producing green buildings in a selection of metropolitan areas. An overwhelming percentage of both architects and contractors are locally-based, suggesting that rather than green building expertise clustering in a few cities, it has diffused nationwide. This has positive implications for the spread of knowledge about how to build more sustainably and also suggests that economic geographers need to broaden their study of the architecture industry beyond iconic buildings in world cities.

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