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The Megatrends for 2013

Author Jerry Yudelson predicts the 10 green building megatrends for 2013 and it looks like a good year for LEED.
Green building will continue its rapid expansion globally in 2013 in spite of ongoing economic difficulties. More people are building green each year, and there is nothing on the horizon that will stop this MegaTrend or its constituent elements. However, the continuing slowdown in commercial real estate and the lower level of government project development will continue to put a crimp in new green building projects. In putting together my Top Ten trends for 2013, I’m taking advantage of conversations I’ve had with green building industry leaders in the U.S., Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Australia during the past year. Yudelson Associates’ Top Ten Green Building MegaTrends for 2013:
  1. Green building in North America will rebound strongly in 2013, using LEED project registrations as a proxy for this growth. The reduction in commercial real estate construction has not been offset by other sectors such as government construction, which continued to falter, and so the growth rate of new green building projects fell dramatically from 2010-2012. Even so, in 2012, new LEED construction accounted for about 20% of all put-in-place space, with domestic LEED project registrations up significantly from 2010. However, we continue to foresee faster growth in green retrofits, and note that surging college and university projects, along with NGO activity, are serving to backstop the fall in commercial and governmental construction. In addition, LEED growth has been and will be rapid in China, the Middle East, Latin America and other fast-growing regions for new buildings.
  2. The focus of the green building industry will continue to switch from new building design and construction to greening existing buildings. For the past three years, LEED for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance (LEED-EBOM) has been fast-growing rating system, with cumulative floor area in certified projects now greater than in new construction. My book, Greening Existing Buildings, documents the strategic and tactical components of this trend. One driver of this MegaTrend is that “‘green’ buildings have rents and asset prices that are significantly higher than those documented for conventional office space, according to recent major academic research studies on new and retrofitted commercial buildings in the U.S. and Europe. In addition, institutional owners and investors are increasingly focused on the sustainability performance of real estate in their portfolios, as evidenced by the GRESB annual survey.
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