As the global economy faces persistent challenges, the green building sector stands resilient, poised for substantial growth in 2012. Charting the course for the upcoming year involves reflecting on the valuable insights garnered from conversations with industry leaders across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia.
1. Green Building’s Global Resilience: *Despite economic difficulties in developed nations, the momentum behind green building remains unwavering. The megatrend of embracing sustainable practices in construction continues to gain traction globally. Anticipating a significant rebound in 2012, the sector demonstrates its ability to defy economic constraints.
2. North American Renaissance: *North America, a stronghold of green building, is set to witness a robust resurgence in 2012. The pulse of this revival is measured through new LEED project registrations. While the commercial real estate sector faced a slowdown, green building projects exhibit accelerated growth, particularly in retrofits. LEED projects, a beacon of sustainability, are becoming integral to the fabric of urban development.
3. International LEED Surge: *The global reach of green building extends beyond borders, with China and other rapidly advancing economies embracing LEED principles. This surge underscores a commitment to sustainable development, positioning these nations at the forefront of the green building movement.
4. Obama Administration’s Green Mandate: *The Obama administration’s dedication to environmental sustainability translates into a bolstered focus on greening the executive branch. A minimum LEED Gold standard for federal projects and emphasis on energy-efficient renovations amplify the government’s role in advancing green building practices.
5. Shifting Focus to Existing Buildings: *A paradigm shift within the green building industry is discernible as attention pivots from new construction to greening existing structures. LEED for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance (LEED-EBOM) emerges as a frontrunner, surpassing new construction in cumulative floor area. This transformative trend gains momentum in 2012, as illustrated in the strategic and tactical insights detailed in “Greening Existing Buildings.”
6. Water Conservation Imperative: *The impending global water crisis prompts a heightened awareness within the building design and management sphere. Stakeholders, including designers, owners, and managers, embark on initiatives to curtail water consumption. Innovations such as water-conserving fixtures, rainwater recovery systems, and cutting-edge onsite water technologies become instrumental in reshaping sustainable water practices.
7. Dry Run for Water Sustainability: *In the wake of growing concerns about the global freshwater supply, the commitment to water conservation takes center stage. Insights from “Dry Run: Preventing the Next Urban Water Crisis” elucidate how green buildings worldwide are at the forefront of implementing effective strategies to mitigate the impending water crisis.
As the green building narrative unfolds in 2012, it is clear that sustainability is not just a trend; it’s an enduring commitment to a greener, more resilient future. Explore sustainable solutions and innovations at CommonShare to be part of the global movement towards a sustainable tomorrow.