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Creating net-zero/net-positive buildings is top priority in Green Building Trends 2021 report

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Codes and Standards

Creating net-zero/net-positive buildings is top priority in Green Building Trends 2021 report

Findings also demonstrate compelling business case for building green.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | November 19, 2021
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Courtesy Pixabay

The U.S Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) 2021 World Green Building Trends report shows that building industry firms are looking to make the construction of net-zero/net-positive buildings a top priority.

“This reflects the recognition that only by making the built environment carbon-neutral can the goal to minimize the impacts of climate change be achieved,” according to a USGBC news release. More than 1,200 industry professionals, including engineers, architects/designers, contractors, owners, developers, inventors, and consultants around the world responded to the survey.

The findings also demonstrate a compelling business case for building green. The average reduction in operating costs for the first 12 months in a new green building is 10.5%, and five-year cost savings are 16.9%, according to survey results.

Other findings include:

· The pandemic impacted the green building sector with many respondents saying that messaging about increasing filtered air exchange in buildings directly influenced their choice of HVAC system, and social distancing standards affected building design.

· More than half of those that work on a majority of green projects plan to incorporate resilience strategies into their projects in the next five years.

· Most respondents (82%) are at least aware of the concept of embodied carbon – emissions from manufacture, transportation, installation, maintenance, and disposal of building materials – with contractors and owners less familiar than architects and engineers. The majority (79%) of those building green use at least one metric to track green building performance, an increase of five points since 2018.

· About half of respondents engage in green renovation/retrofit projects, with most investors engaged in this work.

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