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Future Looks Green for Building Industry

Green building in North America will continue its strong growth in 2014, with the ongoing expansion of commercial real estate construction together with government, university, nonprofit and school construction, says Yudelson Associates’ founder, Jerry Yudelson, a LEED Fellow.

This prediction tops Yudelson’s list of major trends likely to affect the green building industry and markets in the US in 2014.

The second megatrend on Yudelson’s list is the growing focus on energy efficiency in all kinds of buildings, including the increasing role of building automation for energy efficiency using cloud-based systems. The third is the design and operation of zero-net-energy buildings.

Rounding out Yudelson’s top 10 trends for green building in 2014 are the following:

  • LEED will attract competitors — such as the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes system — as never before. One reason: Recent Obama administration actions have now put the Green Globes on a par with LEED for federal projects.
  • The focus of the green building industry will continue its switch from new building design and construction to greening existing buildings.
  • Green buildings will increasingly be designed and managed by innovative information technologies that are based in the cloud. In fact, Yudelson calls 2014, “The Year of the Cloud.”
  • Green building performance disclosure will continue as a major trend, highlighted by disclosure requirements enacted in 2013 by more than 30 major cities around the country, laws that require commercial building owners to disclose actual green building performance.
  • Healthy Building Products, Product Disclosure Declarations, along with various “Red Lists” of chemicals of concern, will become increasingly contentious, as manifested through such tools as Health Product Declarations. Industry-developed disclosure systems will compete with systems offered by dozens of third-party rating agencies.
  • Solar power use in buildings will continue to grow.


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