10 Green Building Megatrends for 2020 - Part Two

Here are the second five of the ten green building megatrends. Note that these are not necessarily in order of current or future importance! Part one was posted on November 29, 2016. The discussion is taken from my latest book, Reinventing Green Building (New Society Publishers, 2016).

Megatrend #6: Green Buildings Get Smart: Cloud computing and Big Data analytics provide grow in power and application

Building owners and third-party service companies increasingly manage larger buildings remotely, using software platforms that provide performance monitoring, data analytics, visualization, fault detection and diagnostics, portfolio energy management, and text messaging, all using the cloud.

Megatrend #7: Cities and states demand building performance disclosure from owners

Most large and mid-sized cities across the US are on board with implementing the new climate agreement stemming from the Paris Climate Accord of 2016, Mr. Trump’s election notwithstanding. In the U.S., dozens of large and medium-sized cities now require commercial building owners to disclose actual building energy performance to tenants, buyers, and in many cases to the public.

Megatrend #8: Heightened interest in healthy buildings and green building materials drives architectural choices

One trend has grown fast in 2016: interest in healthy buildings and green building products will expand, particularly in new construction. The move of USGBC CEO Rick Fedrizzi to a similar post at the International Well Building Institute moves a top green building salesman to the front of this trend.

Megatrend #9: Solar power breaks through to mainstream use, becomes critical component of "net zero" buildings

Solar use in buildings will continue to grow, primarily because a number of U. S. states are implementing aggressive renewable portfolio standards (RPS). In fact, solar accounts for an increasing percentage of new electric capacity additions each year, reaching 64% in the first quarter of 2016.

Megatrend #10: Water conservation retains considerable appeal but design options are limited

Awareness of the coming crisis in fresh water supply in many regions of the world will increase as global climate change continues to affect rainfall and water supply systems worldwide. The continuing drought in California and the southwest has given water concerns national attention.

These megatrends will continue to accelerate the growth of low-carbon green buildings, adoption of renewable energy in buildings, and promote health and well-being in architectural designs for the next 5 to 10 years.

For a fuller discussion of these 10 green building trends for 2017 to 2020, see my article in the January 2017 issue of HPAC Engineering