Green Buildings and The Obama Effect

[Video – 2:19] Noted green building expert Jerry Yudelson explains how the Obama administration will impact green buildings.  In short, according to Mr. Yudelson, the Obama administration will make green buildings a permanent part of the economic, cultural, and financial landscape.  Every new, large federal building will be LEED certified, and at least 25 (if not 35) states will mandate green certification for all new buildings.  We'll see green measures for hundreds of local, state, and federal buildings, and a lot of money will be going into this area.  And because of this, people will gravitate towards the green building industry — we'll see green jobs and a boom of sorts.

The fact that green buildings will benefit from the Obama administration is not only one of our trends to watch in 2009, but it's also one of Mr. Yudelson's Top Ten Trends.  It's number two.  Here's that list, in shortened form:

  1. Green building will continue to grow more than 60% in 2009
  2. Green building wil benefit from the new Obama presidency
  3. The focus of green buildings will begin to switch from new to existing buildings
  4. Awareness of the coming global crisis in fresh water supply will increase
  5. LEED Platinum projects will become more commonplace
  6. Solar power use in buildings will accelerate
  7. Local governments will increasingly mandate public and private green buildings
  8. Zero net energy designs for new buildings gain increasing acceptance
  9. Green homes will come to dominate new home home developments
  10. European green building technologies will become better known and adopted in U.S. and Canada

So, as you can tell, we can always count on the consultant in Mr. Yudelson to give us high quality information.  We've certainly enjoyed some of his books, even given a few away, and listed a couple on our green books page.  If you're in the industry, his Yudelson Associates Blog is a must read, too. 

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  • Steve

    I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Yudelson’s comments. In addition, I think these same factors will carry over to the residential building market. I have watched as home builders struggle to stay in business, many of them closing their doors or declaring bankruptcy, and come to the realization that the remaining builders who survive the economic downturn will come out the other side lean, mean and refocused.

    This refocusing will include an examination of the “mansions” we have been building, and the homes will be smaller, multi-useful and much more energy efficient. Visit for one example of a homebuilder that understands this refocus, and rather than marketing Green as a way to make money, actually discusses it freely as a way for the consumer to save money instead. It think 2010 will be a very interesting year as Obama starts to turn the economy around (it’s natural cycle!).

  • Kate

    That is very interesting, I really love the idea of a change in infrastructure throughout the United States to alternative forms of energy. It makes sense that for 25 or 35 states to have all LEED certified buildings, this will take some time. So, I wonder why Jerry Yudelson predicted 25 to 35 and not all 50? I was just wondering where that number came from.

    Great post and thank you for the book recommendation!

    • Preston

      I can’t speak for Mr. Yudelson, but I think this is an educated prediction, the 25-35 figure. Several states already have mandates for green certified buildings and they’re all different. Executive order or legislatively based. Public versus private requirements. LEED, Energy Star, or other green certification requirements. Size and project requirements, etc. But getting to 25-35 may not be that tough because it’s so hot to legislate like this.

  • Rob Longert for The AIA

    Great post!

    We couldn’t agree more with Mr. Yudelson’s comments.

    They fall in line quite well with the AIA’s Rebuild and Renew plan (the AIA’s recommendations for Obama’s recovery package when it comes to green building), and think that green building is a great opportunity for the economy and the environment.

    For more thoughts from the AIA on this topic, check out their blog at

  • Catriona Harris

    When our grandkids are in history and economics class, I really think 2009 (and the entire time of the Obama administration) will be an interesting and vital shift in the history of the U.S.

    I firmly agree with Mr. Yudelson’s prediction and am very excited for the coming years.

  • Kevin Settlemyre

    Great article! And this comes during a time when energy-efficiency in buildings is on everyone’s mind. The biggest news for architects recently is that the energy-efficient commercial buildings tax deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot has been extended through 2013.

    This is great news for engineers and architects alike during a time of change in America. As you mention, the Obama administration will make green buildings a permanent part of the economic, cultural and financial landscape of our country. And that’s something we can all agree on.

  • Drop Shevnin

    green OBAMERICA

  • Anonymous

    I voted for the president, But I failed to see how it will benefit me I see new construction being built, but I not seen that passed on to the customer, I have placed several bids to different Prefab builders, only to be discouraged. Stick built homes are still always coming at a lower price. When these prefab companies extoll the virtues of how they cut cost, that always seems to be at the customers expense.

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