The Top Green Building Trends for 2013

Bullitt Center under construction. Image Credit: ecosid under CC-BY 2.0 via Flickr.

2013 is shaping to be another important and defining year for the green building industry. But how will green building expansion shape the year ahead? Jerry Yudelson, once called the godfather of green building, has a few interesting things to say about the 2013 in Sustainable Industries. Here are seven of the most interesting points:

  1. Green buildings will rebound strongly in the US. Although there had been a reduction in commercial real estate construction, there is growth in other sectors such as government construction.  According to him, LEED 2012 will pave the way for growth in Latin America, Middle East, and China.
  2. The focus of green buildings will be on greening existing buildings. The LEED for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance is the fastest growing sector of the LEED—and it will continue to be such for 2013.
  3. There will be an increased awareness of a long recognized problem: the lack of fresh water supply. This will prompt building owners to decrease their water consumption and use onsite water technologies.
  4. Zero-net energy buildings will be a competitive advantage in the commercial and residential sectors. Currently, the largest zero-net energy building is the Bullitt Center in Seattle, which will open in 2013. Its performance will be closely monitored in the industry and will hopefully pave the way for the construction of similar establishments.
  5. The disclosure of performance to tenants and buyers will be more transparent—as people are demanding information on just how much green buildings can benefit them.
  6. Governments will continue to mandate green buildings not just for government buildings but also for private sector, providing incentives for its construction and inspired by the need to reduce carbon emission.
  7. The use of alternative energy will also be highlighted for 2013, particular solar energy. As support for wind systems by the government is waning, solar power will most likely grow and find their way into most homes.
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