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Green building renovations are defying the downward spiral seen in the general market for renovation work. As a result, green building retrofits that promote efficient energy usage are anticipated to increase substantially through 2015 and emerge as the “new normal” in the building industry, according to leading market research firm SBI Energy in the recently released report Green Building Materials and Construction, 2nd Edition.
Green renovations currently account for about 7% of the total renovation market, and are anticipated to grow to 13% of the market by 2015. Much of the sector’s growth can be attributed to stimulus funding throughout the world for energy efficiency improvements, though green building materials have shown that they are cost effective alternatives to standard building components and are increasingly in demand by businesses and homeowners alike. Rising energy costs and diminishing fuel resources will also continue to push energy efficiency measures, both for construction and for manufacturing.
“The majority of the world’s buildings are old and waste energy. We anticipate the building industry will see a significant increase in green building renovation to make structures more energy efficient, particularly since these types of retrofits pay for themselves after only a few years,” says Bernie Galing, SBI Energy analyst and author of the report.
In the green construction arena, an increasing number of builders are building more green homes and offices as a means to differentiate themselves from their competitors and as a way to weather a poor building environment. Green homes and buildings are not only in high demand, but they command a price premium when they are purchased or sold. In addition, green rental properties have higher occupancy rates and also command higher rents. With better designs, improved green building materials, and advanced construction techniques, green buildings are more durable, last about twice as long, use less energy, and have less of an impact on the environment than standard construction.
Global Green Building Materials and Construction, 2nd Edition provides a comprehensive assessment of both green building materials and green construction, cost considerations that have limited their growth, government incentives that have spurred their growth, consumer and business demand, potential opportunities for additional growth, and an assessment of developing technologies that are making green building products and green construction the “new normal”. Projected growth through 2015 for both of these markets is provided including discussion of economic conditions, environmental impacts, consumer-business-builder acceptance, stakeholder concerns, and government activities as they affect growth rates.
The world is going green. Of this I have no doubt. As I sit here writing about green building materials and construction on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, it is becoming abundantly clear that “green” in all its forms has become mainstream.
Sure, everyday products such as detergents and cleaning products have been available and advertised for years. Organic foods are widely available, if still a little pricey. EnergyStar labels can be readily found on products ranging from light bulbs to appliances, as they have been for many years. References to energy efficiency, electric automobiles, wind and solar power, and water conservation among many other “green” concerns are replete throughout the media in all its forms. I have even overheard casual conversations about pending cap-and-trade legislation on several occasions.
What I have found lacking in the green marketplace is a concerted effort to advertise green building products and green construction. Although large well-known building supply centers – particularly The Home Depot and Lowes – now carry green building products and materials they have not done anything other than rudimentary and unimaginative advertising. One still has to look hard to find green building products in these stores as they are not very well displayed. Instead of large and distinctive signage indicating the location and proclaiming the benefits of green building products, one still has to look carefully at labels on each product. Where’s the differentiation? Where’s the call to action? Why isn’t this a bigger deal?
However, I have lately seen some indications that green building materials and construction is taking flight. While researching and writing this report I paid particular attention to casual mainstream media references to these topics as this would be a sign (at least to me) that green building materials and construction were no longer “special” topics. While such references were few and far between, in the past month I have seen several TV commercials from home builders touting their new “green” homes. The April 2010 issue of U.S News & World Report was devoted to the “Future of Energy” with a number of articles devoted to green construction and renovation. The April 22, 2010 edition of USA Today included “Blueprint for a green house”, an in-depth article about one woman’s experience in building a custom green home and some lessons everyone should consider when building “green”. While these are but a few examples it seems to me that the words “green” and “construction” are at last being “heard” through mainstream consumer media sources and have become part of the normal discourse and lexicon.
This is not to say that green building materials and construction have “arrived”. It only means that people are now starting to notice. The benefits of building green still need to be delivered to the masses and the costs for green products and construction still need some improvement. However, as the economy improves and home sales spick up, there will be a great opportunity to deliver this message.
One of the ways I think the benefits of building green can be delivered to the masses is to emphasize the unique products that have been developed and the advantages of using them. Having experienced the insulation capabilities of adobe brick (which is made from dirt and straw - can’t get much “greener” than that!) while living in New Mexico, I think much interest could be generated from products that are green and “out of the ordinary”. Oryzatech’s Lego-like STAK BLOCKS (made from rice straw) and Black Mountain’s sheep wool insulation are examples of two unique building products that are green and perform better and last longer than “standard” building products and could generate consumer interest.
I’d also like to use more green building products since I am doing several remodeling projects on my house. However, unless I see these products in a store or a home show or advertised in the newspaper I’m unlikely to find and use them. I’ll look on the internet but if shipping is too expensive I’ll buy something else locally. This just about sums up the biggest issue with green building materials – people don’t know about them and when they do, they are often hard to find (or too expensive). So, I’m hoping for a breakthrough in these two areas (soon). There’s a lot to do around the house.
Retailers, manufacturers, residential builders and remodelers all must provide knowledgeable energy conservation expertise to succeed in their business. Inside find key market insights on the following ‘green’ building: HVAC, windows, doors, and roofing.
Check out our 4 min audio to learn more!
SBI Energy has just released a report titled “LED and Energy Efficient Lighting” for the benefit of professionals involved with the lighting industry at multiple levels. These levels are marked as component manufacturers, subassembly manufacturers, and units ready for the end-user. Everything is covered from soup to nuts. Or better yet from infrared to ultraviolet!
This new release takes us from where we are today, very low efficient lighting reactions and products, to the future, where much less energy is consumed by the generation of light. In so doing, the author reveals:
—-The status of the current market: sizes and markets for traditional lighting including by light source type and by regional analysis.
—-What factors are driving the demise of this traditional lighting and who or what are the driving forces?
—-What new technologies are on their way to save the day and who’s bringing them? How are new technologies being incorporated into the marketplace right now and by whom and with what results? What can we expect around the next corner?
The report will provide an eye-opener to the lighting industry market and delineate regions of opportunity to those involved in specifying lighting in any situation, producers of components of lighting, lighting designers and manufacturers.