Green building trends in 2013

January 10, 2013

All the figures point toward a sector that is developing at a rapid pace, regardless of whether you are looking at the green industry from the perspective of jobs, investments or development.

Tree Hugger News reports that Jerry Yudelson, who is often referred to as the "godfather of green building" has listed the top 10 megatrends he predicts for the upcoming year. The increased the number of green building projects in North America has come in at number one. The U.S. Green Building Council had a tough year in 2012 as the impact of the recession lingered across the construction industry. However, thanks to metro and state remodeling and new building sustainability standards, the industry is seeing an uptick in eco-friendly projects.

For example, one initiative from officials in Washington, D.C. has increased building restrictions for any commercial structure that receives local or state funding. Now, new properties are required to meet new sustainability measurements and building developers and businesses looking to expand are paying attention.

A more state-wide approach toward promoting green building is coming from the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub). This organization promotes the adoption sustainability practices in Philadelphia and was established by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as an Energy-Regional Innovation Cluster. It is just one example of a non-government organization working to make a difference.

Another green building trend predicted for 2013 is the focus on integrating cloud computing systems in businesses. As more commercial enterprises look to reduce operational expenses, and digital communication abilities improve, more companies may forgo traditional office spaces and instead opt for telework thanks to the invention and development of the cloud.

The costs associated with solar installations are also predicted to continue to decline. Forbes magazine reports that solar panel prices decreased by 30 percent in 2012 and that rate of decline are expected to be continued into 2013. Solar firms are expected to receive significant subsidies from states, cities and private enterprises.