GLBU Prediction 2009: It’s All About the Retrofit

Posted by pcbasentry on January 9, 2009

Posted on January 9, 2009 by Chris Cheatham

“Green” was the buzz word in 2008. In 2009, Green Building Law Update predicts that green buzz words will become more nuanced and the focus will be on “energy efficiency,” “retrofits,” and “existing buildings.”

I don’t mind making this prediction because it is not much of a stretch. There are three factors that will contribute to the popularity of retrofitting existing buildings to improve energy efficiency.

First, as we have been discussing all week, President-Elect Obama is pushing a large stimulus package aimed at, in part, improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings and homes. Yesterday, President-Elect Obama again stated his plan “to modernize 75 percent of federal buildings and improve energy efficiency in 2 million homes to save consumers billions of dollars on energy bills.”

The second factor that will contribute to increased popularity for retrofitting current building stock is a slowdown in new building project developments. At this point, we have all heard the dire warnings of a construction slowdown. This construction slowdown is due, in part, to tightened lending options. We also know that tenants are now demanding green buildings. The result will be that building owners will look to “retrofit” their existing buildings so as to offer more green building options.

Finally, climate legislation in the form of cap-and-trade is coming. Early investments now to reduce energy use through retrofits will pay off for big businesses.

What do you think? Are my predictions off? What is your one prediction for the green building industry in 2009?


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