Stay ahead of this year’s green building trends

Don’t get left behind — lead the pack.

A report by USGBC and Dodge Data & Analytics found that global green building continues to develop and increase. Why? The customer demand is present. And, green buildings are expected to save owners 14% in operating costs.

The report primarily considers commercial buildings. But why should the trend stop there? Why can’t apartments reap the same benefits?

Let’s address the current green commercial building trends, and how they can be adopted by multifamily. After all, operating costs are vital to apartment owners, too. And staying up to date with current trends is just as important in this market.

Net zero and net positive energy buildings

Big commercial buildings are now moving to achieve net zero energy use. This means that the building produces the same amount of energy as it consumes. Efforts to obtain this typically include reducing energy levels drastically, and pursuing renewable resources. Some buildings even hope to achieve net positive standing, where there is more energy produced than consumed.

Multifamily is a two way street — it involves the energy use for both the property itself, and the residents in it. The likelihood of an apartment becoming net positive is low. But, property owners can utilize this trend by pursuing the same energy reduction and renewable energies. Rooftop solar panels are a huge part of the current renewables trend, and are already highly considered in the multifamily market.

LED lighting

As the lifetime and cost effectiveness of LEDs continues to grow in fame, LED retrofitting continues to expand. This is an easy trend for multifamily to adopt, and one that saves money (while being “greener”) over the short and long run.

Passive building design

In the construction of new commercial buildings, many are emphasizing passive design — a technique that maximizes the amount of natural light that filters through. This reduces spending on electrical lighting and temperature control.

New apartment construction can also take advantage of some of these design techniques. Especially in common areas, which are one of the biggest area costs for property owners.

Sustainable materials

Big in design is the use of green, recycled materials. What’s new on the market, however, is changing the game for one of the most used materials in construction: concrete. New alternatives and advancements in concrete solutions are turning out to be very promising.

The use of sustainable materials is a trend that can be taken advantage of in multifamily with new construction, or retrofitting. Whether it’s using self-healing concrete when building from the ground up, or simply buying furniture made from recycled material, this is a green step that can save money, and definitely protects the environment.

Energy management services

Energy management systems are used to help building owners get the most out of whatever they install. Whether it’s new light bulbs, solar panels, or storage batteries, these systems tie everything together. Typically through a smartphone app. Commercial or multifamily, energy management systems report and help optimize performance.

Trends for 2017

This can be a changing year for multifamily. Every year the market grows closer in aligning its priorities with commercial trends, and every year it’s for the better. By pursuing green trends, properties reduce their costs, increase their profits, and save the environment.