The Southeast's increasing focus on sustainable, or 'green,' construction has changed the way many contractors, designers and owners approach projects. But is the sustainable focus shifting slightly?

Certainly, green building construction continues to play a huge role in the current economy. According to data derived from ENR Southeast's latest Top Contractors survey, this year's survey reported more than $4.9 billion in 2011 revenue from projects that were being built to a green building rating standard.

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Balfour Beatty ranked as the #1 contractor for green construction, according to ENR Southeast's recent Top Contractors survey data. The contractor recently completed this Merrill Lynch office in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo courtesy Balfour Beatty)
That number reflects a slight decline from a year ago, when Southeast contractors reported just over $5 billion in revenue from projects registered with a third-party sustainable building rating organization.

By comparison, this year's $4.9-billion total for green construction equates to about 30% of the overall $16.3-billion total revenue figure. Also, this year's green number equals about 49% of the roughly $9.9-billion amount recorded for the entire general building construction category. (Not a perfect comparison by any means, but it does provide some additional context.)

Lately, some Southeast contractors seem to be indicating a slight shift in emphasis, with heightened attention on energy modeling. John Reyhan, who heads up Skanska USA's Atlanta office, for instance, says the cost of energy has become a popular topic of project owners.
"We’re seeing it evolve towards a focus on energy efficiency, and how we can design and construct buildings (in a way) that maximizes (a client's) ability to operate efficiently," Reyhan says. "We’re spending a lot more time studying energy models."

That mindset has played out in a couple of green building projects that ENR Southeast has profiled recently: Georgia Tech's Carbon Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory; and Clemson University's school of architecture building. As Clemson's James London, the school's associate dean of architecture put it, the university was less interested in the green "arithmetic" than it was in designing and building a facility with the lowest energy usage possible.

With that in mind, here are the Southeast's top 20 'green' contractors, based on revenue from projects registered with a third-party green building organization.

Top Green Contractors - Southeast

  1. Balfour Beatty US $518.7 million
  2. Holder Construction Co. $492.3 million
  3. Brasfield & Gorrie $466.4 million
  4. Turner Construction Co. $397.6 million
  5. KBR $382.2 million
  6. Skanska USA $367.7 million
  7. Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. $336 million
  8. Hensel Phelps Construction Co. $209.2 million
  9. Hunt Construction Group $191.3 million
  10. OHL USA $189.9 million
  11. Archer Western Contractors $154.7 million
  12. Rodgers Builders $132.1 million
  13. Suffolk Construction Co. $107.6 million
  14. Gilbane Building Co. $72.1 million
  15. Choate Construction Co. $66.7 million
  16. Walbridge $52.1 million
  17. The Conlan Co. $49.8 million
  18. The Yates Cos. $48.4 million
  19. Lend Lease $47.1 million
  20. Creative Contractors $40.1 million

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