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Green Building is our Future

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According to a report by Professor Arthur C. Nelson's report for the Brookings Institution, over the next 30 years, a large percentage of the worlds existing buildings will need to be renovated.


His report is from 2004, but Nelson re-examined his own findings last year and little had changed. Plus, the mainstreaming of the green movement that's occurred in the last two years has set the pace and presents many opportunities for Green Building.


The USA alone will need about 427 billion square feet of new construction. Most of this will be new urban developments and renovation of existing buildings.

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, the USA is developing about twice times as fast as our population grows. All new construction during the next 30 years needs to become more compact and environmentally friendly.


The following facts are from Nelson's report:


Most of the space built between 2000 and 2030 will be residential space. The largest component of this space will be homes. Over 100 billion square feet of new residential space will be needed by 2030. However, percentage-wise, the commercial and industrial sectors will have the most new space with over 60 percent of the space in 2030 less than 30 years old.


About 82 billion of that [new volume] will be from replacement of existing space and 131 million will be new space. Thus, 50 percent of that 427 billion will have to be constructed between now and then.


Recent trends indicate that demand is increasing for more compact, walkable, and high quality living, entertainment, and work environments. The challenge for leaders is to create the right market, land use, and other regulatory climates to accommodate new growth in more sustainable ways.


Designers, architects and engineers figure predominantly in our future. They will imagine and mold the residential and commercial construction space that will become the future of our planet. We are about 10 years into the U.S. Green Building movement and many innovative designers and builders will be needed to provide our new cities of the future.


Consider the Dutch green building movement, and some interesting facts from the Netherlands. It's not financially feasible to tear down and replace existing buildings with more than 20 stories. Therefore the challenges that exist with a world full of tall skyscrapers will provide decades of Green Building Design work for urban planners.


Green Building is our future. City planners are faced with renovating old buildings with Green Building materials and methods while at the same time creating healthy environments for our world's future growth. With this construction taking place, our future communities and skylines will evolve and Green Building will positively influence all of our lives. Pura Verde! tom@costaricahomebuilder.com

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