Green building trends predicted for 2013

January 4, 2013

The U.S. green building market is continuing its acceleration into 2013. According to McGraw-Hill Construction's 2013 Dodge Construction Green Outlook report, the value of green building has grown from $10 billion in 2005 to $78 billion in 2011. Experts forecast, after the final figures from 2012 are in, that the commercial and residential green building market will reach a value of $85 billion. By 2013, the industry is expected to increase further to between $98 billion and $106 billion.

"We're seeing tremendous growth in green building, providing a bright light in an otherwise uncertain economy," said Harvey M. Bernstein, vice president, Industry Insights and Alliances for McGraw-Hill Construction. "Not only does this mean a strong outlook for green building, but also the benefits that go along with that: more jobs, greater financial benefits from green and high performance buildings, stronger competitive positioning for those firms that build green and healthier work and learning environments for our population."

Despite ongoing economic turmoil across the globe, green building will continue to increase in 2013. According to Yudelson Associates' Top Ten Green Building MegaTrends for 2013, green building is North America will drastically increase in 2013. The experts forecast this trend using Leadership in Energy and Environmental Designs (LEED) project registrations as a proxy for this growth.

In 2012, new LEED construction made up approximately 20 percent of all projects, with domestic LEED project registrations up significantly from 2010. Experts are predicting this percentage to continue to increase in 2013, along with the number of green retrofits occurring in commercial, residential and governmental construction projects. In another trend, a greater focus will be paid to "greening" current structures instead of new construction projects.

According to the source, the LEED for Existing Building Design and Construction department has experienced rapid growth in the past three years and it is expected to continue. More residential and commercial property owners are focused on improving current structures, instead of scrapping serviceable buildings and beginning a new.

Non-governmental and government agencies alike are looking to support commercial property owners interest in retrofitting older buildings with new technology, as well as new construction projects. For example, the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub) in Philadelphia provides developers direction on best sustainability practices. Established by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as an Energy-Regional Innovation Cluster, the organization intends to support eco-friendly building goals by providing resources and expertise to any interested party.