Green Building Trends for 2012

Leaves. Image Source: Public domain.

After identifying the primary discussions on green construction, urban awareness, and environmental consciousness among varied sectors (architects, developers, policymakers, appraisers, lenders, builders, homeowners, etc.), the Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit green construction organization has identified the top ten green building trends for 2012:

1. Higher Urban Density. Empty nesters and yuppies will be moving in to the city and building laneway homes (similar to a carriage house behind the main house) and accessory dwelling units this coming year. The reason? A sustainable lifestyle and closeness to big city opportunities.

2. Green multifamily homes. An increase in multifamily building certifications is another trend, especially in progressive areas.

3. Home remodels. Many families will also be looking into remodeling their homes to make them much more energy-efficient.

4. Testing of new green materials. Engineers and architects are reluctant to use these new materials right now, but more testing can only contribute to the development and refinement of environmentally friendly technologies.

5. Energy tracking devices. Environmentally consciousness homeowners are increasingly willing to use energy trackers to assess the performance of appliances.

6. Energy education for commercial establishments. By this year, companies will realize the benefits of saving energy.

7. Transparency in marketing. Construction firms and real estate professionals will be compelled to disclose the merits of what they are building and selling. This is a commitment that Norsteel has always done.

8. Valuable and accurate appraisals. With the increasing number of appraisers, it will be a lot easier for buyers and sellers to know the precise value of a green building.

9. Adoption of residential energy ratings for homeowners. With the release of the Department of Energy’s Home Energy Score, it will be easier for homeowners to compare their energy use to others in the same building category and area.

10. Smart grid-compatible high-performance houses. Homeowners will now be able to monitor and control their electricity usage, all through a remote command.

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