6 2019 Green Commercial Building Trends
An ever-increasing number of green commercial buildings are being constructed in this day and age. In addition, there has been a consistent increase in the number exiting commercial buildings that are being retrofitted with an eye to enhance ecological considerations. With these realities in mind, there are six green commercial building trends to pay attention to in 2019.
Improvement of Air Quality for Commercial Building Occupants
There is a growing understanding that the air inside a traditional commercial building can be more contaminated and more hazardous than the air out of doors. As a result, more attention has been placed on green technologies and practices that improve interior air quality in commercial buildings.
An interesting recent development involves not only the positive impact improving interior air quality with green technologies and practices has on health but the benefit it has for overall productivity. A recent study suggests that improving the air quality in a commercial building has been shown to improve cognitive functioning. Specifically, the study revealed that specific green ventilation strategies, coupled with the utilization of an appropriate HVAC system, doubled cognitive test scores.
In the final analysis, in addition to improved health, greening the air in a commercial building has the potential of enhancing employee productivity in Canada of an average of $8,545 annually, according to the Keneda Fund. Thus, a green air quality strategy benefits the environment, improves health, and results in a significant productivity increase that can be measured in dollars and cents.
Increased Transparency of Materials Used in Commercial Buildings
Another 2019 green commercial building trend is an enhancement in transparency when it comes to the materials actually incorporated into commercial buildings. The theory is that as people become more aware of what is being utilized in the makeup of a commercial building, they will become more interested in occupying spaces that are constructed or retrofitted with an eye to green objectives.
In the grand scheme of things, understanding the eco-friendly aspects of a building has a number of positive benefits. First, the occupants of a commercial building have a keener appreciation of the type of building they spend a considerable amount of their lives. They understand how their workspace and their presence in it impacts the environment more broadly.
Second, transparency of this nature provides exemplars from which other commercial buildings can be modeled. An oft-used cliché is that imitation is the best form of flattery. When it comes to green building materials and practices, imitation is a sound course as a means to continue to enhance the environment.
Finally, historically and with alarming frequency, materials were incorporated into commercial buildings that ended up having a toxic impact on people, resulting in serious and even fatal health consequences. As an objective of developing green commercial buildings is enhancing the overall health of occupants, this trend towards even more transparency is important. Had this type of transparency existed even a few generations ago, health issues involving asbestos and other building materials, including lead paint, could have been minimized or avoided altogether.
Commercial Building Solar Energy Trends
Unlike its neighbor to the south, Canada is not facing the types of assaults and limitations on solar energy in the construction and retrofitting of commercial buildings that is ongoing since the installation of the Trump Administration in the U.S. With that said, tariffs which are being imposed on steel from certain countries will have an impact on the international market more generally.
Despite the international cost gyrations that may persist in regard to steel, a component part of solar systems, that is not expected to significantly impair the continued broadening use of solar energy as a component of new commercial construction. Moreover, commercial green retrofitting is also expected to continue apace and include solar energy as a primary element of that type of advancement.
Resilient Cities Program and the Environment
In regard to commercial building trends, another initiative that is having an impact in a trio of Canadian cities, including Vancouver, is the Resilient Cities Program, largely underwritten by the Rockefeller Foundation. At its essence, the Resilient Cities Program is intended to develop cities that are more capable of surviving natural disasters will less damage to buildings and infrastructure.
There is a myriad of benefits associated with the Resilient Cities Program concept, including environmental. Less havoc is wreaked on the environment when existing structures are better able to withstand potentially catastrophic weather events. There us less immediate damage to the environment and less of a toll on the environment because of a lesser need for a massive rebuilding effort.
Commitment of Large Enterprises to Reduce Carbon Imprint
Some of the worlds largest companies appear to have made firm commitments to reducing their existing carbon footprints. In addition, there enterprises seem focused on significantly reducing their carbon footprints on any new construction projects they undertake in 2019 and going forward. Examples of these large enterprises that have made a detailed, firm commitment to reducing their carbon imprint include:
Keep an Eye on Biophilic Design and Biomimicry
Two terms people are likely to hear more of in 2019 are biophilic design and biomimicry when it comes to green commercial buildings. The biophilic design intends to realize what is seen as a connection between humans, living systems, and their immediate environments. Biomimicry relies on elements of nature to resolve human problems, in this case, construction-related issues. More attention to these concepts is expected in the green commercial building realm in 2019.
As is nearly always the case, there will undoubtedly be other green commercial trends that garner attention at some point in 2019. Moreover, it is always possible that what are thought to be important trends at the commencement of a given year may end up with less attention or focus later on. Nonetheless, the green commercial building trends noted here for 2019 warrant attention and consideration because of the impact they are very likely to have during the coming year and into the future.