With green building becoming mainstream, the next big thing for the industry is in the realm of net-zero: buildings that produce all the energy they need.
Pike Research released a report this week indicating that net-zero construction will become a $1.3 trillion global business by 2035, driven largely by demand from Europe where zero-energy requirements are increasingly becoming required by building codes.
In November, the Northwest-based Living Future Institute launched a new certification for net-zero buildings in an effort to share best practices among designers and builders.
Eric Bloom, Pike Research's building industry research analyst, said he sees a strong role for such certifications as net-zero energy construction catches on in the U.S., similar to the role that the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED certification played in green building.
"The purpose of the certification program was to cut through the greenwashing that was going on with green building," Bloom said. "As (the net-zero certification program) gains more implementation, it will become important."
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