While the news from this year's Southeast Top Contractors survey wasn't completely upbeat, green building construction was one market definitely on the upswing.

Image courtesy of The Foram Group
Going Platinum Brickell World Plaza is part of Miamis 600 Brickell, set to be Floridas first LEED Platinum high-rise when it debuts in August.

Despite the overall decline in regional revenue reported by this year's respondents—the number of which was also down considerably—income from green projects increased notably.

Collectively, contractors reported slightly more than $5 billion in regional revenue from projects registered with a third-party sustainable building organization, such as the U.S. Green Building Council. That's a 14% improvement over a year ago, when firms reported roughly $4.4 billion in green construction revenue.

The increase in green construction is even more significant when viewed as a percentage of overall revenue. For instance, last year's $4.4 billion green total equaled roughly 18% of regional revenue. This year, due to the significant overall revenue decline, green projects made up about 30% of total project income.

This regional trend matches up with recent national green market analysis from McGraw-Hill Construction, publisher of Engineering News-Record. In its “Green Outlook 2011” report, the company noted: “Surprisingly, the economic recession has led to a significant increase in green building activity, particularly for nonresidential buildings. Not only has green building increased dramatically in market share, but it has also grown in absolute dollars—and at a rate much quicker than expected in market growth estimates (of) just two years ago.”

In all, McGraw-Hill Construction expects that by 2015, 40-48% of all nonresidential construction will be green. Read on to see the Southeast firms making the most of this trend.