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Ten Green Building Trends for 2010

carboninbuildingsThe Earth Advantage Institute has released a list of the top ten “green” building trends in 2010 that range from energy “scores” for homes to web-based displays that track energy usage in real time.

The smart grid and connected home is expected to grow in 2010 as utilities continue to make upgrades to the grid for more effective generation, storage and distribution of power, and as smart-grid manufacturers develop custom and web-based display panels that show real-time home energy use, says the Earth Advantage Institute.

The same is true in the commercial sector. Case-in-point: Networking equipment giant Cisco rolled out the first Smart Connected Building solution in July last year, which will interconnect and enable building systems such as heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC), lighting, electrical, security, and renewables over the IP network.

Cisco also projects that the smart-grid communications infrastructure will reach $20 billion a year over the next five years.

The Earth Advantage Institute also predicts energy labeling for homes and office buildings. The non-profit organization says this will make it easier to perform a building-to-building or home-to-home comparison, but a publicly available score on the multiple listing service could push building owners to make needed energy improvements.

As an example, The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) released its prototype building energy labeling in June last year with the plan to implement a widespread launch of the full program in 2010.

Building information modeling (BIM) software is also expected to continue its expansion with new add-on tools with increasingly accurate algorithms for energy modeling and embedded energy properties for many materials and features. The Earth Advantage Institute expects BIM developers to soon offer more affordable packages aimed at smaller firms and individual builders.

Nearly half of the construction industry is currently using BIM or BIM-related tools, according to a new report from McGraw-Hill Construction.

Click here (PDF) for a complete listing of the Top 10 Green Building Trends.

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