The modern concept of sustainable living or “green building”, began over five decades ago.

According to a page at the Environmental Protection Agency’s website,

“The contemporary green building movement arose out of the need and desire for more energy efficient and environmentally friendly building practices. The oil price increases of the 1970s spurred significant research and activity to improve energy efficiency and find renewable energy sources.”

Today, the green building movement has evolved into a highly structured industry and is replete with government initiatives, certifications, best practices, and a growing number of adherents across every sphere.

A major component of green building is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED as it’s commonly known. As the most widely used green building rating system in the world, LEED is used by builders and investors to implement management practices that ensure productivity, comfort, health and wellbeing for occupants.

In addition, green and LEED certified structures prioritize building efficiency, decreased operational costs, and increased assets.

For example, when one considers just cost effectiveness, LEED-certified buildings from 2015 through 2018 were estimated to have generated:

  • $1.2 billion in energy savings
  • $149.5 million in water savings
  • $715.3 million in maintenance savings
  • and $54.2 million in waste savings

But what does the future hold for green building going in the U.S. in 2022?

Green Building Trends and Issues 

There are predictions, of course, and – more often – projections based on existing trends, but it is always difficult to accurately forecast the future of anything. Who could have predicted COVID-19, for example, and the impact that the pandemic had on just about everything?

However, many of those deeply involved in the green building industry have prognosticated a bit and we’ve curated some of the top trends and issues here:

The Use of Green Materials 

According to an article at one green building source,

“This is a… very big green construction trend. There is also what we call Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification– one of the most popular green building certification programs designed by the U.S. Green Building Council.

It promotes the idea of ‘green building,’ a practice of designing, constructing, and operating buildings using fewer resources. It aims to minimize waste and environmental impact to achieve a safer environment and building productivity. Nowadays, construction materials and equipment are already LEED-certified, such as LEED access doors and panels and other building parts.”

Increased Use of Innovative Glass and Solar Structures

A post at highlights the innovations that Middle East and North Africa building construction has helped spawn.

“Low-emitting windows, coated with metallic oxide, to block the sun’s harsh rays during summer and keep the heat inside in the winter are also gaining popularity. Such windows have the potential to significantly reduce heating and cooling costs of buildings.

Another promising innovation is in the form of cool roofs which are made of special tiles and reflective paints to reflect sunlight. Cool roofs have high levels of solar reflectance and thermal emittance, and help in reducing the heat island effect in urban habitats, especially in arid areas like the Middle East.”

The post also quotes green buildings expert Sunanda Swain, who points out that,

“Transparent solar window panels can also be incorporated into awnings, curtain walls, retaining wall, glass facade or as overhead glazing units. These increase access to direct sunlight while providing additional architectural benefits such as passive shading.”

More Types of Green Building Certifications

 In addition to LEED certification, other programs such as Passive House certifications have come to the fore in both the U.S. and Canada. 

An article from the website at speaks to this trend,

“Passive House certified homes consume about 90% less energy than a code-built house. As a green home certification program, Passive House is getting a boost from some regional building codes in the form of financial incentives that helps legitimize it in the eyes of both homeowners and builders alike.

Some municipalities are also implementing tougher regulations that are ‘inspired’ by programs like LEED or Passive house, and requiring air-tightness targets to be met. This is not a small thing, since too few builders realize how much heat loss is due to air leaks in a home, and how important an air-tight home is for durability and efficiency.”

Green Building, Sustainable Construction, and Crystal Construction Consulting

In an increasingly green – and complex – building world it is good to know that knowledgeable and experienced help is available. Crystal Construction Consulting works with architects, contractors, investors, and owners with all types of building concerns, including green building.

Having access to an experienced and knowledgeable professional can make the process much easier for an architect, as well as for contractors and building owners who will benefit by making sure that designs and plans are compliant to all acceptable green building practices.

So, whether you’re an architect with questions regarding green building certification, a new contracting firm about to build your first commercial building, or a business owner who wants to create a more green and sustainable facility, construction consulting can benefit you.

An experienced construction consultant can provide guidance and direction for any aspect of a project, whether it involves new construction, retrofitting for energy efficiency, or simply adding or upgrading energy saving components.

And it doesn’t have to be a large building project! You could be a homeowner planning to build your own home or an addition. A construction consultant can be a valuable asset and investment.

As an experienced construction consultant, we can guide you in all the phases of your project and answer your questions. To learn more, email us at or call us at (707) 865-5157.


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