Though sustainability, modular construction and team collaboration dominated the news in the buildings sector in 2012, green building seems to be the topic most talked about. Every few weeks, it seems, green-building promoters issue guidance, model codes and digital tools to advance sustainable design and construction. Some say that green-regulation compliance is burying project teams in paperwork. Even worse, in a buyer’s market, owners keep dreaming up ways to put their design and construction teams at risk if the buildings do not meet energy targets. Though there has been some progress toward eco-friendly development, almost all green-building enthusiasts agree that true sustainability is a long way off.
The topic can stir controversy. Disagreements over the proposed fourth version of the U.S. Green Building Council’s popular rating system, called LEED, started to boil over this year and culminated in an unprecedented fifth public comment period on the latest draft, called LEED v.4. USGBC also delayed the ballot until this coming June.