As the sustainable design movement continues to grow rapidly throughout the US, architectural engineers, building product manufacturers, and construction business owners must keep up with stringent environmental regulations amidst a quickly changing landscape of new green materials.
Although challenging, these regulations bring great opportunity to the industry, with LEED construction projects on the rise and the overall green building market predicted to reach $96 -$140 billion by 2013.
However, with more than 80% of commercial buildings in the US being at least ten years old, there is also a significant need to retrofit older construction for better environmental sustainability. According to Pike Research, if all commercial space built as of 2010 were included in a ten-year retrofit program, the savings in energy expenses would have the potential to reach more than $41.1 billion each year.
In addition, the overarching trend towards a decrease in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has led to numerous incentives for buildings to increase their energy efficiency which makes the trend towards retrofitting even stronger. The engineering and construction team must evaluate the criteria of retrofitting building products. For example, does the product offer efficiencies in more than one category?