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The 7 Biggest Green Building Trends for 2017

Green building trends are increasing in number across the globe, thanks in part to the U.N.-backed 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The World Green Building Trends report has even predicted that by next year the number of international builders with at least 60% of their projects certified green will double.

Carbon emission reduction is the primary objective for green construction, and one of the best ways to accomplish it is to control energy usage. Below is a list of the top 7 green building trends for 2017, all of which can decrease overall consumption while increasing efficiency.

  1. Solar Panels

Solar is being globally acclaimed as the energy source of the future, causing the technology to become more sophisticated while remaining affordable. In May 2017 the UK made world headlines when nearly one-quarter of the country’s power needs were supplied by solar panels. China is in the process of building the world’s largest solar farm, and India has dedicated over three billion dollars to increasing its solar power capacity.

  1. Home Energy Storage

Ten years from now, batteries capable of storing enough power for an entire home are expected to be as common as rooftop solar panels. Demand generally prompts manufacturers to increase production, which will in turn drive down prices for these home batteries. In the UK, Powervault is the leading home battery manufacturer.

  1. Energy Management Systems

Energy management systems monitor energy consumption and can automate power, lighting, and HVAC systems to deliver optimal energy savings. The Edge, a prominent office building in Amsterdam, has thousands of sensors connected to a smartphone app that can adjust lighting and temperature according to how many employees are on the premises. It can even make these adjustments based on individual employee preference.

  1. Passive Building Design

Passive building designs use advanced design techniques that allow for optimal amounts of natural light to come in while minimizing heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter. Green roofs, another popular passive design feature, also regulate internal and external temperatures. The overall result is a decreased need for electricity throughout the year.

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  1. Sustainable Building Materials

Recycled wood has been used for awhile in sustainable construction and it’s about to be joined by an eco-friendly version of concrete, which is the world’s most used construction material. One type, known as ‘self-healing concrete’, is supplemented with bacteria that will grow limestone to fill in cracks that appear, dramatically reducing maintenance requirements.

  1. LED Lighting Retrofits

Thanks to increased lighting efficiency and decreasing costs, LED lighting is becoming the most popular lighting investment in green building projects. While the initial purchase price is higher than that of other lighting types, long service life and low energy consumption make LED’s cost of ownership the lowest in the field.

  1. Mobile Apps

Many technology providers bundle mobile applications with their products. These apps accomplish various energy-saving purposes, such as monitoring output, tracking savings of various efficiency measures, and detecting performance problems in real time.

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