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Five Green Trends to Watch in 2008

Greentrends2008

Happy New Year!  This year is unlike any in the history of our country.  We’re seeing this crazy whirlwind of issues coming together.  The economy is entering a slight lull and the average American is losing width in the real estate pocketbook.  The next presidential election is on the cusp and we’re seeing indicators of a brewing culture war.  And to add to that, the topic of climate change is everywhere.  The sister topic of pollution pops up fairly frequently also.  So with this backdrop, I’ve been thinking about the green movement and what’s in store for next year.  Here’s what I think:

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Most Popular Articles of 2007 [Jetson Green]

Most Popular Articles of 2007

To identify the best articles of 2007, I’ve only used traffic figures from January 1, 2007 – December 30, 2007.  And some of these articles bumped to the top by virtue of some mondo Digg or Stumbleupon traffic, or both.  I appreciate all the readers and emailers and hope to provide better, more relevant content in 2008 (although, well, it’d help if Typepad could paginate archives). 

The danger with using traffic to decide what content to provide in the future is that traffic stats may not be aligned with true reader interest.  So, if you’re interested in reading more of something in 2008, shoot me an email or drop a comment below.  I’ll find a way to do it.  Here’s one last list for the year:

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The Ultimate Green News Year in Review 2007

Green News Year in Review 2008

It’s been an incredible year in green news, and coverage on the environment seems to increase every week.  Below, you will find links from the last year that I think are important.  Unfortunately, tons of good stories didn’t make the cut because the links were broken and I couldn’t find an adequate replacement.  Regardless, 2007 has been a great year, don’t you think?  Collectively, we’re taking big steps to respect the environment.  Republicans, Democrats, businesses, individuals, etc.  Everyone wants to do their part.  And even if you don’t click all, er, 151 links below, scan the titles as a reminder of what has been accomplished.  Let’s keep the momentum in 2008. 

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Five Green Books You Should Read Soon

Fivegreenbooks

This is my no B.S. guide to green books you should read (if you haven’t already done so).  Go to your bookstore/library of choice and there’s no doubt that the bookshelf is getting cluttered with authorship on a range of green topics.  Some of them are no more than a simple intro with a directory of products — the books are well and fine, but they become obsolete quickly in this crazy market.  So, here’s my list of 5 books you should read, especially during the holiday season if you have some downtime.  In choosing these books, I’ve decided to err on the side of edification rather than entertainment.  You’ll find legitimate analysis and thought in all five.  Enjoy:

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Top-10 Green Building Products 2007 [BuildingGreen]

SunEye from Solmetric

Well, it’s that time again and BuildingGreen, a company that also publishes the GreenSpec Directory, today announced their list of Top-10 Green Building Products.  It’s not so much that these products are better than everything else on the market, although they may be better, it’s that they’re cool additions to the GreenSpec Directory over the last year or so.  Most of the following ten products have multiple environmental attributes, but here’s a slim breakdown:  4 save energy, 2 save water, 3 are made of green materials, 1 helps situate solar power, and 2 avoid hazardous manufacturing/disposal of materials.  Without further ado:

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Top Three Free Reports on Green Building Costs

20bill

Environmentalism is all the rage right now, isn’t it?  It’s good, but we need to sift through some of the noise and clearly identify correct information.  With respect to the costs of green building, depending on who you talk to, it’s possible to get conflicting information.  To prove this point, try to survey a couple real estate pros (informally, of course) and you may be surprised by what you hear.  When I’m around seasoned real estate pros, I make it point to ask them what they think about green building.  The information is rarely consistent.  Below, we have three legitimate reports seeking to clarify the discussion on green building costs.  These reports are free, and by all means, email this post around to your real estate professional friends.  Let’s make this information viral.  Let’s get past any misunderstandings and start building better, more efficient buildings.

  • Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Business Realities and Opportunities, Summary Report, World Business Council for Sustainable Development.  Although focusing more on energy efficiency in buildings (as opposed to the entire environmental picture of a building), this report found, among other things, that the costs of green building are often misunderstood, and even overestimated by as much as 300%. 
  • Cost of Green Revisited: Reexamining the Feasibility and Cost Impact of Sustainable Design in the Light of Increased Market Adoption, Davis Langdon.  Using the USGBC’s LEED system as a parameter, this report found that there is no significant difference in average costs for green buildings as compared to non-green buildings.
  • Green Buildings and the Bottom Line: The ‘New Reality’ of Green Building, From Environmental Cause to Financial Opportunity, Building Design + Construction.  Assessing all the different product types individually, this white paper discusses the costs and benefits of green buildings and presents a 10-point action plan for consideration by all the green building stakeholders. 

I think we’re at the point where the information will start to take hold and green building practices will spread.  It will gather such momentum that all the players in the real estate world, whether lenders, investors, contractors, engineers, architects, lawyers, owners, or developers, will have a seat at the table and will push for smarter, greener decisions. 

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