Certified green buildings on the rise

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Certified green building projects are on the rise and a future where sustainable residential developments are the norm may not be too far away, according to architectural and engineering management services firm ZweigWhite, Wayland, MA.

“If we can ever get this communicated to the building industry, I can’t imagine building anything any different,” says Jim Regan in an interview for ZweigWhite’s The Zweig Letter. Regan’s company Energy Smart Home Builders is the developer of Prairie Ridge Estates, a 132-unit net-zero subdivision in New Lenox, Ill.

Bryan Jackson, a green and sustainable construction adjunct professor at the University of Southern California and the editor of Green Building Update, related to ZweigWhite that recent research predicts 900 percent growth in certified green projects worldwide in the next 10 years. Specifically, “Green Building Certification Programs” by Pike Research 2010 estimates that certified green building projects will grow from 6 billion square feet this year to 53 billion square feet worldwide by 2020, with almost 20 percent of these projects coming from the residential sector.

The Urban Land Institute and the Brookings Institution have published demographic data claiming younger buyers are more interested in living in urban-like settings, not suburbs. That fits in with what LEED-ND (Neighborhood Development) is trying to attain with a standard that “encourages new urbanism, smart growth and higher density,” says Richard Taylor, principal with Richard Taylor Architects, Dublin, Ohio.

A challenge for LEED-ND is that self-sufficient neighborhoods don’t sprout overnight with all the commerce, housing and accessibility that make them desirable, notes ZweigWhite in its news release.

More information on ZweigWhite can be found at www.zweigwhite.com.

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