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A Year Like No Other

Saturated with the extremes of hope and despair, 2021 delivered important insights, heartbreaking realizations, and indisputable progress on the sustainability front. 

Mother nature continued to hurl her best torments and challenges at us this past year.  Endless COVID outbreaks. Unprecedented wildfires. Historic tornadoes. Those, in conjunction with pervasive social inequality, unending political paralysis, and the unsettling unveiling of the fragility of our energy, water, and supply chain infrastructure made 2021 a year like nothing we’ve seen before.

At a time when, at least in theory, we should be united, offering unconditional compassion and interminable support to our neighbors, the sad reality is that we seem to be more divided than ever. 

Nonetheless, there is good news: Over the past year, there has been marked progress on the sustainability front and a greater acceptance of the truth about climate change. 

A vibrant discussion about Decarbonization is taking root in boardrooms, classrooms, and living rooms across the globe, and digitization technologies, ClimateTech advancements, and carbon sequestration innovations are beginning to transform our future.

Labor challenges, material shortages, and soaring prices are forcing the construction sector to evolve and modernize, and awareness of advanced building science, sustainable design, and net-zero construction to improve performance and reduce costs has never been higher.   

Consumers, led by a savvy group of millennials with an inherent ethic of sustainability, are now vigorously researching the eco-attributes of the products they buy and the ESG practices of the companies that they support, demanding a new level of corporate transparency

If we’re going to meet our climate goals, it will be in large part due to the passion and commitment of Next Generation Influencers, but unless we all join together in lockstep, our future could easily go either way: clean, green, resilient, and healthy or bleak, crumbling, despairing, and hopeless. 

As we reach the end of the year, it’s difficult not to question what will come of our current COVID and climate change induced realities.  Will we see an upheaval of our socioeconomic system, just as the Black Death ended serfdom by killing 30 percent of the European population and placing a premium on workers? Or will the only result be a dramatic increase in Amazon’s market capitalization? 

At Green Builder Media, we’re feeling optimistic about 2022 and the years to come. If you haven’t already, check out the Nov/Dec issue of Green Builder magazine, which offers COGNITION Smart Data market intelligence and insights into the state of sustainable building.  

We anticipate sustained growth in our sector, with continued emphasis on healthy, net-zero, electric, solar-powered, resilient, connected homes.  We expect that job site challenges—labor, materials, skyrocketing prices, and quality control—will push the housing industry towards greater offsite construction, including panelization and prefab.

We have a few exciting projects up our sleeve rolling out early next year that will not only respond to current market conditions, but will also bring us closer to our goal of enhancing the sustainability of the built environment. Keep an eye open for some big announcements from us soon, and in the meantime, we hope that you have a very happy New Year.