Green Building Trends for the Year Ahead

University of Calgary Child Development Centre, one of the largest LEED platinum certified buildings in Canada. Image Credit: Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd.

Green building consultant Jerry Yudelson writes a yearly list of predicted trends for the year ahead. This year, we see industry growth topping the list, despite the slowdown in 2010.

Yudelson is the principal of Tucson-based green building consulting company, Yudelson Associates and has compiled this list after speaking to consultants from the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Australia.

Here’s the list:

  1. The green building movement will continue to grow around the world as more and more countries start to nurture their own green building agendas.
  2. Not only will the green building industry grow, it will positively rebound from a shaky 2010. Yudelson points to the growth in the number of LEED registrations as a solid indication of this future surge.
  3. According to Yudelson, “The fastest growing LEED rating system in 2010 was the LEED for Existing Buildings program, and I expect this trend to continue in 2011”. In other words, the biggest growth in green building will revolve around lowering the environmental impact of existing buildings rather than new builds.
  4. As awareness about the global water crisis grows, green planning will spend more time concentrating on water efficiency than anything else, including “conservation-oriented fixtures, rainwater recovery systems and innovative new water technologies”.
  5. Obama and his government will continue to support the green building industry.
  6. Any new buildings that are planned will likely be designed around zero-net-energy principles. This will apply across both residential and commercial builds.
  7. ‘Performance Disclosure’ is likely to become a new buzz word in industry circles. Any tenants or buyers will have the right to ask for the disclosure of actual performance in any commercial buildings.
  8. By the middle of last year, green schools represented about 40% of all new LEED projects. This trend will continue to grow as awareness of the health and educational benefits of green schooling continue to rise.
  9. More governments around the world will issue mandates requiring green commercial buildings for their major cities.
  10. The use of solar power in buildings will continue to grow over the coming year.
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