There’s little question that green building is on the rise. Now, as all indicators point to a promising 2013 for commercial and residential construction alike, here are a few green trends likely to hit your radar sometime this year.
1. Greening Existing Workspaces
The U.S. Green Building Council spent most of 2012 working with individual states to expand their portfolio of sustainable projects. For 2013, the USGBC continues this push with a new framework for companies and cities that applies to both new projects and renovations.
2. It’s All in the Cloud
2012 introduced cloud computing to the general public. Apple and Google led the way, creating remotely stored systems and data for customers to access via the Internet, instead of a local hard drive. This year, builders and facility managers will see countless new cloud-based solutions for big data crunching such as building energy management. The trend is prevalent enough that Sustainable Industries has already termed 2013 “The Year of the Cloud.”
3. More Energy Efficient
Increased emphasis on building green and reducing operating costs is prompting higher expectations for energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR and LEED are becoming common place. The new goal will be zero-net energy buildings, or buildings that produce as much energy as they consume.
4. The Global Green Building Movement
According to the USGBC, there are now 90 nations with organizations dedicated to green building and 40 percent of all LEED-recognized projects are located overseas, with many of them using American innovations to facilitate their move toward a more sustainable future. Modular building is a critical component of this movement, as prefabricated construction can eliminate up to 90 percent of the waste seen in traditional construction.