The View From Here
by Ric Jackson
January 7th, 2019

The View from Here in the Review Mirror (Part Two)

I’d like to think that you anxiously await my blog articles every other week, but I’m also a realist. We’re all busy professionals, so maybe you missed one or two. It’s okay. Each new year, I like to take a moment to reflect on where our industry has been in the last year, along with where we’re headed—this time in 2019.

Going way back to The View from Here in the Review Mirror, Part 1, I observed that there was a lull in legislation—at least in terms of federal legislation that would be beneficial to our industry. That is a trend that continued throughout 2018 and I don’t expect it to change any time soon. Any and all advancements, in terms of promoting energy efficiency, has happened at the state level, or in the private sector. This means that progress is in our own hands. And we haven’t waivered for a moment.

Just as in 2017, green building continued to be a hot topic in 2018. And we’re still seeing plenty of growth. In case you missed it this year:

Residential New Construction Shifted Focus

  • Building affordable, more energy-efficient homes has become mainstream. Energy-efficient upgrades are no longer considered a premium offering. They have become an expectation from consumers. As a result, builders are adjusting and making it a standard practice to include energy-efficient upgrades. Read more.
  • To further the previous point, we dug a little deeper to see how some of the biggest builders are capitalizing on the green building boom and found that they are setting some aggressive energy efficiency and sustainability goals for themselves. But they are taking it farther than that. Many are also implementing IoT features, solar installation, committing to zero VOC materials and are helping to manage water usage. Read more.

Commercial Reaps Benefits Beyond Operating Costs

  • There are so many green certification programs available today that it’s difficult to keep track of them all. It’s true that the notoriety and savings associated with certifications are major plusses in the commercial market, but why choose one program over another? We took a quick look at the latest programs, including the newer BREEAM certification. Read more.
  • Studies have shown that we are only just beginning to understand the true ROI of green buildings. It also has positive impacts on rent premiums, occupant satisfaction, employee engagement, renewal rates and health and wellness. Read more.
  • We’re seeing an increased interest in living buildings (i.e., buildings that give more to the environment than they take away). The Living Building Challenge, or LBC, takes a much bolder approach when compared to other green building certifications. Read more.

While legislation has been slow to move, our industry has not. The View from Here is that despite trade wars and threats of program defunding, any year with progress is a good year. And it’s all thanks to you and others in the industry who continue to push us forward.

What’s your View? Email me directly at

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