Year after year, I find the Dodge Data and Analytics World Green Building Trends report to be a fascinating read. We’ve watched green building steadily climb over the years, and this year we’re seeing some of the largest growth projections yet: Nearly half (47 percent) of respondents reported that the majority of the projects they expect to build over the next three years will be green. This is a big number and important to note as we look at our strategies and business projections shorter term.

But there are also some subtler data points that could be indicators of where we are headed farther down the road, especially when it comes to green certification.

Those of you who follow my blog regularly know that I talk a lot about the merits and downfalls of green certification and the various certifying bodies. And this year’s numbers piqued my interest. Presently, those who are doing a high number of green projects are certifying them; however, the gap between green projects and the number of those green projects that will be certified will widen by 2021 (see chart on page 10 of the Dodge Report).

Was I surprised to see this? No, not really. For some time, I have expected to see a decline in green buildings that are certified, because a.) green is becoming mainstream and expected; and b.) green certification can be expensive to achieve in terms of time and money.

For the reasons listed above, I believe there will come a day when certification will become unnecessary and the shift in data from this report shows that we are already moving in that direction. However, it will be a while before this happens. Building codes, such as the IECC, will first need to catch up with the principles embodied in green certification programs, so there’s some standardization.

The View from Here is: we won’t see any major changes in the near term and most commercial green buildings will be certified. However, as an industry, we know green building will soon be commonplace and it behooves us to prepare for growing demands with the right product mixes and the right strategies that will carry us into the future.

What’s your view? Email me directly at


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