3 Trends in Green Building We’re Paying Attention To
Going green is more than just a trend now but what options there are to go green has seen incredible changes throughout the last few years. While small changes can help your lifestyle to be greener there are large changes as well that can be made not only by individuals in their lives but also large companies and developers.
As developers make changes to their building styles to make them more environmentally friendly they can see the rewards in reduced costs in the long run as well as pay the benefits forward to the eventual tenants or buyers of these properties. In commercial real estate, it is important to stay up with building trends and considering green building trends is no different.
Here are a few trends that we have our eye on right now.
1. Net Zero Energy Buildings
Net zero energy buildings are buildings that generate, on their own, as much energy as they consume. With an ambitious goal set the by the World Green Building Council to have all buildings be net zero by 2050 this is certainly a trend that is top of mind and one that will certainly continue to grow if that goal has a chance to be met.
New Buildings Institute found that the number of reported net zero buildings increased from 2015 to 2016 by 74% so it is safe to say this trend is on the rise. One great example of this can be beneficial to developers is the Sandy Grove Middle School in Lumber Bridge, NC which was able to improve upon its operational budget by foregoing a traditional build and doing a net zero build instead.
2. Energy Sources and Conservation
It is one thing to net zero when it comes to energy but it must be determined on how you are going to generate that energy for the building. Many buildings are now harnessing not only one source of renewable energy but multiple sources of renewable energy. For example, the city of Las Vegas’s government just recently announced that it is fully dependent on renewable energy now and it is using a combination of solar power and hydropower from the nearby Hoover Dam. With a reduction of the city’s electricity usage by 30% you can only imagine the cost savings that translates to.
3. Living Buildings
A living building is one that is not only net zero in terms of energy but one that also fully sustains itself by collecting and treating all its water in addition to creating its own energy. In other words, the building does not need any outside utilities provided to survive.
An example of this is the Omega Center for Sustainable Living which is currently up for the Living Building Challenge. It is defined as a living building because it utilizes geothermal heating and cooling, solar panels, rain gardens and a large greenhouse that helps to filter wastewater to be reused. It is also net zero and consists of eco-friendly building materials.