Recent Trends in Sustainable and Green Buildings

Green Building Fund Logo. Image Credit: Clean Business Australia initiative, by the Federal Government of Australia.

2011 was crucial for green construction, as it saw the highest rise in green construction yet! The message of green construction was highly advertised and acted upon not only by commercial building owners but by residential owners as well. So what trends in 2011 will likely continue into 2012? And what lessons can we learn from them?

Prefabrication and refurbishment

Putting up a new green building in place of the old one is definitely a sustainable option for building owners who are looking into going green. Yet, in addition to this, many have opted to go beyond the call of duty to purchase prefab steel buildings or refurbish their existing buildings to fit green standards.

Fuel switching

Another major trend is to shift from using fuel oil to natural gas, thereby significantly reducing the greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the rate of ROI. The amount of money spent on natural gas can be earned back in at least two years. After then, the use of natural oil will essentially pay for itself.

Performance and design

Gone are the days when a compromise between performance and design had to be made. Achieving both is a definite possibility. Another important aspect of this trend is that living up to the advertisements must be done. While there are several buildings that claim to reduce carbon emissions and save energy in a certain period of time, very few live up to their word. Unlike Norsteel, who is committed to green buildings, these construction firms are facing  definite sanctions.

Government construction

Various governments have started to take the lead on green construction as many have put funds together to create new government buildings incorporating green building technologies and creating policies and subsidies to encourage green construction.  This goes to show how serious governments are about green construction.

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