The Sustainable Market Grows

The Sustainable Market Grows Engineering News-Record (08/10/17) Tulacz, Gary J.

Green design revenue increased by 13.1 percent in 2016 to $4.83 billion, from $4.27 billion in 2015. There now is a general expectation among major clients that their projects will be built to green standards, but many firms note that clients may wish to forego third-party registration and certification because of the perceived extra cost of project documentation and filing, particularly under the new LEED v4 standard. Amber Richane of CallisonRTKL notes, "LEED New Construction and Core & Shell certifications are down 35 percent from their peak in 2013, but LEED CI certifications are up 40 percent. This is similar to the dip when [LEED 2009] came out, and then the industry continued onward with LEED eventually. But we will see how the market reacts to v4."

There also are performance-based codes that are driving sustainable buildings. "On the regulatory side, the most progressive energy codes, such as in Seattle, offer an alternative path that is target-based, where a building needs to achieve an operational energy-use value set by the code," says Tom Marseille at WSP USA. Clients are realizing that they can have high-performance buildings at no additional first costs and even under budget. Some efficient envelope, mechanical, and lighting systems are cost-neutral, says Anica Landreneau, director of sustainability at HOK.

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