Negative Construction Sectors That Inflate Gross Domestic Product: An Economic Case Study of Seattle Commercial Construction
Christianson, Jeffrey James
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Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was created as a way to measure US production of products and services. GDP was not intended to guide policy making or as an indicator of the country's welfare. The commercial construction sectors of asbestos abatement, soil remediation, and building demolition are tangential to the actual cost of constructing a building and the country would be better off if these construction sectors were not necessary, even at the jeopardy of a reduced GDP. This thesis examines the specific costs of these construction sectors in Seattle commercial construction industry and determines that 1.66 percent of a Seattle commercial construction project's cost is spent on asbestos abatement, soil remediation, and building demolition. This research challenges the use of GDP and emphasizes the need for a different means to measure economic progress in consideration of the incurred environmental and social costs in the production of products and services.