Going green has come into play in most everyone’s lives in one shape or form by now and is being embraced more frequently than it used to be. This is due to accessibility being increased to green products as well as the affordability of green products being improved upon. One of the major things to go green and help to build a greener future is building commercial real estate utilizing green products as well as techniques.

Green buildings are on the rise and with an increase from 2% in 2005 to 41% in 2012 in non-residential green starts according to the U.S. Green Building Council it seems that green building will only continue to grow.

As this building sector continues to grow an increasing number of buildings will be seeking LEED ratings to prove how green they really are. LEED can help identify how green the building may be based on a rating system. As more individuals and companies have an environmental focus, LEED certified buildings will add an attractive feature for these types of companies.

Builders are also looking to include more green space in their developments as it is an attractive feature for tenants and becoming more in demand. Not only does it bring more greenery and plant life into the urban setting but it can also have serious benefits for the structure itself. For example, a green roof planted with vegetation can help reduce water runoff and conserve energy by helping to insulate the structure better. These areas can also serve as a place for tenants to grow their own produce which helps to reduce carbon footprint by going to the store for these items.

Reducing carbon footprint is also something that is being considered when looking at using alternative building materials to make projects more green. One of these alternative methods that is in the works is 3D printing. The concept behind this is that instead of transporting lots of materials using trucks and different vehicles that are creating pollution, building materials will be printed on site to use as needed. This will also help to reduce the amount of waste that can typically be associated with using regular building materials.

While 3D printing will be used for building materials, some more detailed materials will include LED lighting for buildings which is already a big trend and becoming the norm. A costly upfront investment for an LED setup can pay for itself in three years in some cases. As the lights use less energy and can also last much longer they are being utilized increasingly more.

Green building has been on the rise and continues to rise so it is important to embrace it from a commercial real estate standpoint. Not only can it help save costs in the long run for some applications it can also attract certain tenants that a non-green building may not.