The Earth Advantage Institute, a non-profit organization, has released a list of the top ten “green” building trends in 2011 that range from energy “scores” for homes to web-based displays that track energy usage in real time. The Earth Advantage Institute also predicts energy labeling for homes and office buildings will become more common.
The Earth Advantage Institute says energy scores will make it easier to perform a building-to-building or home-to-home comparison. Publicly available scores on the multiple listing service (MLS) could push building owners to make needed energy improvements in order to bolster their score and their home’s attractiveness to buyers.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) released its prototype building energy labeling in June last year for commercial buildings, called Building EQ, which compares the energy use the building was designed for against actual energy use. Using the EQ score as a baseline, ASHRAE’s goal is to move buildings towards net zero energy use.
Building Information Modeling
Building information modeling (BIM) software use is also expected to increase with new add-on tools with increasingly accurate algorithms for energy modeling and embedded energy properties for many materials and features.
Nearly half of the construction industry is currently using BIM or BIM-related tools, according to a new report from McGraw-Hill Construction. The Earth Advantage Institute expects BIM developers to soon offer more affordable packages aimed at smaller firms and individual builders.
Home Energy Monitors
At home, you can use home energy monitors for real-time feedback on the energy your home is using. Try Infosmart, Xcel’s online energy tool to help you manage your energy use and control energy costs, or have your remodel certified MN Greenstar.
MN Greenstar is a third-party verification rating system assuring homeowners that the new home or remodeling project performs as designed, covering key aspects such as energy efficiency, resource efficiency (including durability), indoor environmental quality, and water conservation.
To learn more about the MN Greenstar scoring system, visit www.mngreenstar.org
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