Recently we wrote about the green building movement and what this actually entailed. Basically, a building is considered green if the materials and processes used to construct it are environmentally sustainable and responsible. For example, structures that utilize recycled materials and are built in such a way as to promote energy efficiency can generally be classified as green.
A new report from Navigant Research, a market research organization, sheds some light on this topic and provides some interesting analysis of trends in the construction industry toward more eco-friendly practices. The authors of the study found that many builders are turning to traditional materials that had previously been viewed as technologically antiquated, because the production processes used to make them are less energy intensive and come from natural, and often renewable, sources.
"Innovation in green materials is driving, in a sense, a regression, in which materials made from bio-based or quickly regenerating resources that are low in embodied energy and carbon, are re-emerging," Eric Bloom, senior research analyst with Navigant Research, said in a news release. "Examples include timber structures and cladding, straw-bale construction, lime renders and mortars, cellulose insulation, bamboo flooring, and natural mineral and fiber floor coverings."
The report also predicts that the growth of the green building will skyrocket. The authors project that it will increase from a $116 billion market in 2013 to over $254 billion in 2020. Although the green building materials industry suffered somewhat during the Great Recession, it experienced less of a fall in demand than the conventional building materials market, and seems to be expanding at a greater rate.