Lux Research, an independent research firm specializing in emerging technology, says the green commercial building sector is expected to grow by $280 billion globally by 2020. Here are five trends driving that growth:

  • Increased Visibility. The recent release of publicly disclosed building use in New York City is likely to set up a trend for other U.S. cities, making businesses more accountable for their utility use. Building product manufacturers are catching on, too, offering increased transparency with environmental product declarations.
  • Net Zero. As the industry moves past LEED and Energy Star certifications, commercial building developers are beginning to tout Zero Net Energy designs as a means of competitive differentiation.
  • Alternative Energy Sources. Solar, in particular, powers buildings, HVAC, lighting and more while lowering electric costs and environmental impact.
  • Daylighting. Positioning windows, skylights or other openings and reflective surfaces to take advantage of the sun's natural light can reduce energy costs by up to a third. Daylighting also relies on a daylight-responsive lighting control system that automatically adjusts brightness when natural lighting is inadequate.
  • Local Sourcing. Many companies are opting to support green commercial building trends while reducing environmental impact by purchasing materials locally. Local sourcing reduces the amount of energy involved in transportation to the building site, resulting in lower carbon emissions.