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01/18/2012

10 Green Building Predictions for 2012

 
10-Green-Building-Predictions-for-2012

Earth Advantage Institute has announced its annual prediction of 10 green building trends to watch for 2012.  Utilizing information and discussion with policymakers, builders, developers, architects, real estate brokers, appraisers, lenders, and homeowners these predictions are an interesting top level view of a continually developing field.  While many of these trends deal with homeowners, facility managers and building owners may be able to pull relevant takeaways from shifts in the green game.

Urban density. Filling in the spaces is the name of the game as homeowners and builders opt to create more living space through the construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs), laneway homes (bordering the back lane behind the main house), and build on infill lots. All this because the younger crowd and the empty nesters are opting to settle in the city where they can be closer to cultural activity, mass transit, more sustainable lifestyles, and other like-minded people.

Green multifamily homes. As a corollary to the urban density trend, Earth Advantage Institute has seen a large spike in Northwest multifamily building certifications this past year. The increased interest by building owners and operators in energy efficiency savings coupled with 2011's 17% growth in multifamily homes (McGraw-Hill) means that we can expect to see a rise in certifications in this sector, especially in progressive regions.

Energy upgrades start to drive home remodels. Builders and remodelers who are plugged into changing consumer preferences (smaller homes, reduced energy bills) have been able to capitalize on energy upgrade work. They have moved into the energy audit and residential retrofit market by either expanding their service offerings or, in the case of large West Coast remodeler Neil Kelly, creating entirely new service groups. In the Northwest, demand has increased, leading to significant new energy improvement business for these firms. Remodelers see such work as a driver to help bring in more remodel leads.

Deployment and testing of new materials. Although architects and builders are eager to try new energy-saving materials and systems, these products require significant testing to ensure that the materials and benefits will last the life of the building and to avoid litigation. As a result, national labs and university research departments are partnering with builders to create test beds and sensor-filled buildings that log the energy performance of new materials and equipment. Portland State University's mechanical engineering department recently partnered with a local builder to measure the effects of phase change material used as insulation in a duplex passive house, while Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories is constructing a test bed that will track all performance aspects of new materials and equipment.

Consumer friendly home energy tracking devices. The introduction of the Apple-like Nest Learning Thermostat, and Belkin's Conserve Insight energy use monitor that tracks energy use by appliance, are two of many sensor-based energy and water monitoring products for the home that are easy to use and help save money. Large electronics players like Fujitsu and Intel are also developing products, among others.

Energy education for commercial tenants. The growing adoption of commercial building energy disclosure (New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Seattle, Austin) has building owners/operators and utilities seeking effective ways to educate tenants on saving energy. Technology can only go so far in conserving energy without tenant participation.

Transparency in home marketing. The increasing use of smart devices by consumers to instantly access information at a home site means that buyers are much more informed and can see through any greenwashing claims. Those builders, remodelers, and real estate professionals who can clearly educate their clients about the benefits and features of energy efficient, green homes will be those who earn the buyers' confidence.

More accurate appraisals. The old-school appraisal criteria based on a drive-by look at a home – view, approximate square footage – no longer holds. The ability for sellers and buyers to ask their banks for a green-certified appraiser (Certified Residential Green Appraiser) means that the lending community will buy into the idea of the additional value and return on investment offered by new certified homes and remodels.

Broader adoption of residential energy ratings for homes. Energy labeling systems are appearing in many states, offering a miles-per-gallon style estimate of a home's energy consumption for homebuyers and homeowners. The Energy Performance Score and the Department of Energy's own Home Energy Score have been rolled out in different climate zones across the U.S. to encourage homeowners to compare energy use and undertake energy upgrade work.

Smart grid-compatible high-performance homes. According to Smart Grid News, household appliances (heating and cooling systems, refrigerators, electronics, hair dryers) account for 60 to 90% of the residential electricity consumption in the U.S., depending on whose reports you read. Increasing numbers of those appliances are becoming "grid-aware" and are gaining the ability to monitor and report their own usage and to increase or decrease their electricity usage by remote command.

 


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

 


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

 


 
09/19/2014

New regulations from the DOE would improve commercial air conditioner efficiency by as much as 30%. 

09/18/2014

A new study suggests that the installed cost of photovoltaic solar power continues to drop in the U.S.

09/17/2014

A new technology developed at Rice University effectively deices glass surfaces while remaining transparent for radio frequency transmission.

09/16/2014

The USGBC and American Chemistry Council have put aside their differences to work together on new improvements to the LEED certification system. 

09/15/2014

Researchers have developed a new process to help cloud computing systems use less energy while continuing to provide high levels of data services.

09/12/2014

Researchers have found the main factors that influence the amount and type of building damage caused by various types of salts. 

09/11/2014

A new study has demonstrated that proactive ergonomic training can decrease worker discomfort and increase productivity. 

09/10/2014

The University of Utah has upgraded its historic Dumke Health Professions Education building to save an impressive 40% on energy costs.

09/09/2014

Hoping to build on LEED's success, PEER evaulates the performance and modernization of electric grids. 

09/08/2014

The USGBC has developed a new tool to help streamline the LEED certification process. 

09/05/2014

Researchers have developed a fluorescent lamp that emits Wi-Fi signals to allow connectivity throughout buildings.

09/04/2014

Tests show effective measures for reducing earthquake damage to computer servers. 

09/03/2014

Health costs drop by half as a result of environmental regulations.

09/02/2014

A new study challenges the idea that sparse workplaces produce happier, more productive employees.

08/29/2014

New tool from FEMA helps facility managers prepare for and mitigate the effects of nonstructural earthquake damage. 

08/28/2014

Is your building's exterior prepared for consistent snowstorms?

08/27/2014

Researchers have developed wearable, customizable technology to handle access control at busy hotels. 

08/26/2014

A new study shows that hotels which are LEED certified bring in more revenue than their non-certified competitors. 

08/25/2014

Policies designed to reduce carbon emissions have the added benefit of increasing air quality, which could pay for the reduction policies themselves. 

08/22/2014

Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a luminescent solar concentrator that is as transparent as glass. 

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