Is the ‘Godfather of Green’ on the right track with his forecasts?
At the end of every year we read trends lists — trends predicted, trends seen, and the like. Now let’s do something with one of these lists. Let’s see if we’re on board or even if we agree with a list by Jerry Yudelson on global green megatrends.
Yudelson is principal of Tucson, Arizona-based Yudelson Associates and author of green building books such as Dry Run: Preventing the Next Urban Water Crisis. The global megatrends are all about ‘frugal green’, he says (he’s often referred to as the ‘Godfather of Green’). These trends include zero net energy buildings, addressing water concerns, building performance reports, LEED growth and a likely merge of various international green building codes such as UK-based BREEAM and Green Star (found in New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa).
It’s not only about droughts but also about having too much water, which makes sustainable infrastructure difficult. Fixtures can help create a water savings of 20 per cent over local codes, as LEED suggests, but people are starting to want 50 per cent. They’re going for rainwater capture in new and existing buildings, which are somewhat more easily accomplished among sites with large parking lots. For example, today a shopping centre can conserve a million gallons of water per year.
Black water treatment
“We are seeing new construction projects, especially in those aspiring to what I call max-green doing the highest level of green performance. They’re starting to look at how they recover wastewater treated on site and then reuse it again for those standard things like cooling and site irrigation. So instead of toilet-to-tap, we’re going toilet-to-toilet.”
Net zero energy buildings are gaining in popularity. Yudelson said this is due in part to the success of the National Energy Renewal Lab (www.perspectiveglobal.com/blog/post-281-sustainable-can-be-sexy) in Colorado, USA. These buildings have no net annual energy use, providing their own on-site renewable energy. US-based International Living Building Institute (https://ilbi.org/) is the go-to resource on zero-energy building, Yudelson says.
Yudelson says performance disclosures are “the Full Monty” of energy use in buildings. A growing number of countries are mandating these. They explain what energy is used, naturally, but also how it’s used and how high energy usages can be mitigated. Cities and even countries are quickly moving toward these because they keep the building’s future buyers more informed of their purchase.
We’re curious to know what you think. What do you think is going on in green? Have you incorporated new practices that aren’t included here?
PHOTO INFO (from first to last):
Bullitt Center / Miller Hull Partnership
Magic School / © Professor Lin Hsien-Te
ZEB / Building and Construction Authority of Singapore
Ohlone College’s Newark Center /Lou Galliano, Alfa Tech Cambridge Group
Tyson Living Learning Center (a Living Building Challenge project) / Joe Angeles