4 Lean, Green Construction Trends for 2013

skyscraper in cityWhile some design trends have yet to stand the test of time, green building promises to be on the rise for both commercial and residential construction. According to Jerry Yudelson, a prominent green building and sustainability consultant, not only does 2013 promise continued global expansion for the movement, but “there is nothing on the horizon that will stop this Mega-trend [toward green building] or its constituent elements.” Within the generally environmentally conscious building climate in which we work, a handful of continually in-vogue applications are projected to climb this year.

Greening of Existing Buildings

Instead of focusing on new building design, the industry continues to hone in on the need to make existing buildings greener. The U.S. Green Building Council, or USGBC, continues its 2012 initiative to develop resources that encourage sustainability and environmentally responsible techniques for greening existing residential and commercial buildings. In fact, the most advanced LEED rating system for 2010, 2011, and 2012 has been LEED O+M, which targets existing buildings. An additional resource on the topic is Jerry Yudelson’s “Greening Existing Buildings,” which provides practical strategies for implementing the characteristics championed by LEED.

skyscrapers reaching highCloud-Based Project Management

Remotely stored systems and data, known as cloud computing, became available to the masses in 2012. Eliminating the need for local hard drives to store mass information, this new internet-based electronic storage method provides an ideal solution for evaluating building energy management. With the vast amount of new players and products that have become available in recent years, the industry niches such as facility management, building automation, wireless controls, and building services information management all rely heavily on such cloud-based management. Already being called “The Year of the Cloud,” 2013 promises to continue this tech trend.

Increased Energy Efficiency

Reduced operating costs and greening techniques combine for increased expectations of energy efficiency. As Energy Star products and LEED-certified buildings become more common, a new goal has been set: Zero-net energy buildings. These buildings produce as much energy as they consume, providing a new level of competition among buildings. For new builds, Zero Net Energy designs will be developed and showcased, as well.

Heightened Global Greening

commercial office buildingThe USGBC estimates that 90 nations now have organizations similarly devoted to green building, with 4 out of every 10 LEED-compliant projects completed overseas. With America leading the way with sustainability-themed innovations, modular building design tops the charts, enabling 90% of typical construction waste to be eliminated, compared to traditional construction formats. Despite common misconceptions about modular design, this building method is actually a tried-and-true construction method with capabilities of providing long-lasting, architecturally interesting buildings.

In addition to those top 4 popular trends, water conservation, solar power, and increased governmental regulation promise to continue. Whether you’re considering a new build or a retrofit, commercial or residential construction, finding a company that will focus on green aspects of the job will benefit your image, your bottom line, and your world.

About D.R. Hartman Construction Inc.

D.R. Hartman Construction Inc. is a fully licensed and insured general contractor providing services in Maryland (Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Potomac, etc), ; Washington, D.C.; and Fairfax County, Virginia. Led by Don Hartman, DRHCI provides construction services for both residential and commercial projects. DRHCI does home remodeling and addition projects as well as prefabricated steel building construction and turn-key build-out renovations for offices, warehouses and retail stores. Contact D.R. Hartman Construction today to discuss your project; call (301) 926-9000 or submit this online contact form.

Image credits:Top © Norman Chan/Fotolia; Middle © Karin Lau/Fotolia; Bottom © Bright1/Fotolia.

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D.R. Hartman Construction Inc

If you are looking for a full service commercial or residential construction company in the Maryland, Washington, D.C., or Fairfax County, Virginia region, we'd love to have the opportunity to learn about your construction project and give you a free quote. Submit our online contact form or call Don Hartman at (301) 926-9000.

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