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Global green building market booming

The market for low energy and sustainable buildings is forecast to grow to over $280 billion by 2020, according to researchers in the US.

New energy efficiency standards being implemented in the UK via the revised Part L of the Building Regulations (2013) and version four of the US green building standard LEED – implemented later this year – are expected to drive further growth in low energy building designs. However, commercial building owners are looking to go even further than the requirements of these standards in order to gain a competitive edge in the property market.

New York City now requires commercial building owners to publish energy consumption figures. This will start a trend for other US cities, making all businesses more accountable for their utility use, according to emerging technology analysts at Lux Research.  They added that building product manufacturers are also offering increased transparency through “environmental product declarations”.

Commercial building developers and architects are also using potential zero net energy designs as “a means of differentiation from competitors”, Lux added.

“While a net-zero building status once seemed impossible to obtain, it’s now becoming more common as the industry moves past LEED and Energy Star certifications that no longer offer a competitive advantage for businesses,” said the US heating and air conditioning manufacturer Lennox.

It said that greater use of natural daylighting; high efficiency HVAC; and increased local sourcing of raw materials were adding to the momentum towards more sustainable buildings across the US and worldwide.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Excellent article, Ewen Rose! It’s great that the global green building market will boom till 2022 – what a decade ahead. When Lennox intimates we are moving past LEED and Energy Star to NET ZERO for businesses, residential will be next! It’s evidence that labeling something “green” doesn’t necessarily make it so – especially with checklist systems like LEED. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), on the other hand, takes a more holistic, “cradle to grave” approach to all elements of the building, and the other guiding star is “building performance” over time. Green Globes provides those metrics. Accountability and performance bring us closer to sustainability.

    For more on green building solutions & Life Cycle Assessment, visit: http://www.facebook.com/lifecycleassessment & http://www.greenbuildingsolutions.org/Main-Menu/Single-Attribute-Only-Small-Part-of-LCA.pdf

    Rob Krebs, Market Innovations, American Chemistry Council

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