Promise builds in sustainable construction
With 2017 getting smaller in the rearview mirror, the new year brings with it considerable promise and expectations for the fields of green and sustainable building.
Both commercial and residential high-performance structures are anticipated to dominate the construction sector as developers realize their long-term value and prospective owners and occupants demand such developments.
A number of recent reports point to increased emphasis on sustainability throughout 2018 and beyond. Here’s a look at what some of that research shows.
Greening green market
As green homes and buildings become commonplace, the green building market is expected to grow at a rate of 17 percent annually through 2022. Within four years, the collective value of the global green building market is anticipated to surpass a valuation of $245 billion, up from $158 in 2015.
Contributing to the growth is increasing consumer awareness regarding energy efficiency and government supportive policies, according to Market Research Future. Increased demand has been spurred in part by lower maintenance costs, operating costs and water requirements of high-performance structures.
Research also points to effective policies of the government for energy efficiency for having fueled the growth of the market.
As green homes and buildings go up at a fast pace, the green building market is partnering more frequently with manufacturers to develop products and materials that reduce a structure’s overall energy use and to create a more sustainable construction industry.
The new and existing companies are expected to invest more in research and development in the coming years to bring about additional products and material that contribute further to energy savings, Market Research Future found.
Meanwhile, the green building industry will continue to see increased implementation of energy management systems to monitor the usage of buildings to ensure optimal energy savings. And the global acceptance of solar energy has driven, and will continue to drive, down prices for solar technology.
The global zero-energy buildings market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 39.02 percent through 2021. Zero-energy buildings consume only as much energy as they generate.
Helping fuel the growth is continued widespread use of sustainable energy sources, according to research firm Technavio. The demand for energy will be unmet because of the lack of fossil fuels, researchers said.
The outlook comes as public and commercial buildings in 2016 dominated the global zero-energy buildings market, accounting for a share of around 82 percent.
The market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) is expected to witness significant development during the forecast period. That’s due to the high demand for photovoltaic (PV) installations from power utilities and residential sectors, which are the major end-users of solar power systems in the region. Advances in technology also are attracting interest from many vendors.
Commercial energy storage
The installation of solar arrays and wind farms has become more prevalent over the last decade, thanks to lower costs and technological improvements that have led to increased power output.
The International Energy Association expects that average annual global renewable installations will be 80 percent higher than coal, oil and natural gas combined through 2040. And Navigant Research anticipates that wind and solar PV installations — both in front of and behind the meter — will surpass 1,500 gigawatts cumulatively through 2026.
Annual revenue for energy storage tied to utility-scale wind and solar is expected to reach $9.6 billion by 2026. Revenue for behind-the-meter installations is expected to surpass $13 billion in the same timeframe.
That latter category includes commercial and industrial (C&I) and residential installations and is expected to account for almost 70 percent of all renewables integrated with storage capacity over the next decade.
The main driver for both C&I and residential deployments combining renewables with energy storage is reduced electricity costs.
Commercial air conditioners
The commercial air conditioners market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 4.93 percent through 2021, driven in large part by green-building efforts.
The rise of green buildings is fueling demand for units that improve air quality, reduce operating costs and enhance occupant comfort. Green buildings make extensive use of air conditioners, thus creating the demand, research shows.
Another contributor to the anticipated growth is increased commercial construction in emerging economies. Rapid urbanization and economic development have led to an increase in the construction of malls, hospitals, commercial buildings, hotels and manufacturing facilities.
Vertical gardens rising
Vertical garden construction is expected to grow 11 percent this year, led by widespread green initiatives, reports 360MarketUpdates.
Vertical gardening is a technique of growing plants up or out of a wall. A relatively new industry, it has gained popularity in recent years due to increasing concerns related to environmental protection. The process of vertical garden construction requires skilled labor with knowledge about horticulture.
The global vertical garden construction market is expected to benefit from the government initiatives around the world to limit carbon footprint, research shows. Many vertical gardens are being – and will continue to be – installed inside buildings. Interior gardens are built to provide scenic beauty to the structure and absorb pollutants for a cooling effect.
With increasing environmental concerns, governments around the world are pushing mandates and norms to promote vertical garden construction, research found.