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30-year Building Outlook: 210 Billion Sq.Ft.

Total construction needed between 2000 and 2030 to accommodate growth projections will amount to roughly 210 billion sq.ft., or 70% of existing built space, according to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).

AGC cites a paper by Arthur C. Nelson of Virginia Tech, “Toward a New Metropolis: The Opportunity to Rebuild America,” released by the Brookings Institution.

Nelson says more than 100 billion sq.ft. of the new construction will be homes, but commercial and industrial space will grow faster as a percent of existing built space. “Fast growing southern and western places—states like Nevada and Florida, and metropolitan areas like Austin and Raleigh—will see the most dramatic growth,” Nelson says, while the Northeast will lag. Although the Midwest will grow slowly overall, it contains four of the five largest expected producers of industrial space (after California): Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana.

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