Commercial Buildings are Going Green

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Going green has been a popular initiative for some time, but the commercial sector has been slow to pick up the trend. Only now are commercial buildings beginning to go green in a variety of ways, and are doing so for both financial and environmental benefits.

Green Commercial Buildings are Turning on the Light

One of the ways that commercial buildings are going green is through the lighting. Light-emitting diodes, or LED light bulbs, are gaining significant momentum as an alternative to incandescent and fluorescent lighting in commercial buildings, particularly as the cost of LED lighting technology is starting to go down. For that same reason, LED light bulbs are gaining popularity in residential buildings. A new report from Pike Research projects that the LED share will reach 52 percent of the commercial lighting market by 2021. The same report also says that LED lighting costs will be reduced by 80 percent to 90 percent during the next decade. Since LED light bulbs are considered the greenest and most efficient light bulbs for commercial buildings, a lot of research is currently taking place to make them as affordable as possible to commercial buildings. Pike Research also projects that the global market for commercial lighting will reach $42 billion in 2011 and see a peak of nearly $54 billion in 2012.

Green Commercial Buildings Save Money

There are more and more green commercial buildings out there, but there’s also a lot of commercial buildings that aren’t. It’s also not necessary to build a green commercial building from scratch. Sometimes, just some changes to a present commercial building can make a huge difference. According to a report from the U.S Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory released two weeks ago, green commercial buildings, compared to commercial buildings in general:

  • Cost less to maintain, by 19%,
  • Use less energy, by 25%, and less water, by 11%,
  • Emit less carbon dioxide, by 34%, and
  • Have more satisfied occupants, by 27%.

The report specifically looked at 22 green federal buildings and compared their results against national averages. Although most of the buildings were built in the 2000s, some of these green commercial buildings were constructed as early as 1900, showing that it doesn’t take a brand new commercial building to make it a green commercial building.

Green Commercial Buildings and the Global Market

Pike Research also has research on the global outlook of green commercial buildings, and one of the things noted in a report released last week is that national governments are doing more to make the commercial buildings in their countries more green. Buildings are one of the main energy consumption sources, and can become green in aspects such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, green lighting, and business models like energy performance contracting that are being utilized by energy service companies around the globe. This latest report from Pike Research said that the energy efficiency market for buildings will achieve $103.5 billion during 2017, which is an increase of over 50 percent from the market value in 2011.

Commercial buildings are finally picking up on the green initiative and both governments and the commercial sector are taking the time to construct green commercial buildings or to turn older commercial buildings into green-friendly buildings. Overall, green commercial buildings offer a lot of benefits to a lot of different entities.


Richard Meryn
Richard Meryn, Associate Editor Industry Leaders Magazine (www.industryleadersmagazine.com)

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