Trends in U.S. commercial building size in three charts

A new study by the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that there were 5.6 million commercial buildings in the U.S. in 2012, totaling 87 billion sf of floor space. This is a 14% increase in floor space since 2003.

May 08, 2015 |
Share of buildings in the South exceeds region’s share of U.S. population

Construction projects today tend to be larger nationwide. Photo: James Willamor/Flickr

A new study released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration reveals that the average size of new commercial buildings continue to grow. Size increases continued to outpace increases in the number of buildings over the past decade.

The data, documented in the administration’s Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), estimates that there were 5.6 million commercial buildings in the United States in 2012, totaling 87 billion sf of floor space. This is a 14% increase in floor space since 2003, the last time CBECS results were recorded.

Newer buildings tend to be larger than older buildings. In particular, healthcare buildings, hospitality buildings, retail, and religious worship buildings today are larger. 

When broken up by region, the South experienced a lot of growth in building size, and the region’s share of buildings far exceeds its share of the U.S. population.

More information can be found on the Energy Information Administration’s website.

 

 

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