One key watchword when it comes to green building is innovation. In reading this article about defining green building as as term, this much is apparent. Thanks to Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (@BNEnterprise on Twitter) for posting the link to the article.
Among the goals outlined in the article is creating buildings that are ‘independent’, that don’t rely solely on the power grid for heat and for water. Thus, windpower, solar energy, and the efficient use of rain harvesting technology are being looked at as viable supplements to providing these basic requirements. And in terms of the grid, the goal of zero net energy is also looking like a common goal.
One of the things which I noticed which was particularly interesting to me is the area of green public buildings, or more specifically, schools. Some of the trend forecasts in this article talk about solar and windpower being incorporated into the design of schools. This is not only to make those buildings more efficient, but also serves as a means of demonstrating alternative energy technology to students who attend those schools.
From the article:
The response to energy savings and sustainable opportunities, especially in our K-12 public school market, has been good and will likely become even more prevalent. With energy savings as the catalyst, we have been allowed to explore alternative, more sustainable systems. We are currently applying small wind turbines and solar panels above high school science classrooms, allowing students to see results from alternative energies in their classrooms.
Overall, the next five to seven years will be a process of looking at each building project as being unique. The article makes it clear that one size does not fit all when it comes to green building. Climate, function, available resources, and many other factors all play into the design of energy efficient buildings. Luckily, even if each region presents its own challenges when it comes to green building, it seems that the goals are becoming common to the planning and construction industry as a whole.