Seven sustainable building trends 2023

Photo: Powerhouse Telemark, Norway is Breeam Excellent certified. Moelven Wood.

Sustainable building is becoming increasingly important as the world faces the challenges of climate change and resource depletion. In 2023, there are several key trends in sustainable building that are expected to continue to gain momentum.

  1. Net-Zero Energy Buildings: Net-zero energy buildings are designed to produce as much energy as they consume, typically through the use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. In 2023, more and more buildings are expected to be designed and constructed to meet net-zero energy standards, as the cost of renewable energy continues to decrease and building codes become more stringent.
  2. Living Buildings: Living buildings are designed to mimic the functions of natural ecosystems, including the ability to generate their own energy, collect and treat their own water, and even grow their own food. In 2023, more architects and designers are expected to explore the possibilities of creating living buildings, as the benefits of this approach become more widely recognized.
  3. Green Roofs and Walls: Green roofs and walls are becoming increasingly popular in 2023 as a way to reduce the urban heat island effect and improve air quality. These systems are also known to provide habitat for wildlife, reduce stormwater runoff, and improve the overall aesthetic of the building.
  4. Plushouse: Plushouse is a building standard that focuses on energy efficiency, comfort, and sustainability. Plushouse buildings are designed to be highly energy efficient, often using passive solar heating and cooling, and are also known to be healthier and more comfortable for the building’s occupants.
  5. Building Material: In 2023, there’s a growing trend in the use of sustainable building materials. These materials are often made from recycled or rapidly renewable resources, and are designed to be energy efficient, durable, and non-toxic. For example, cross-laminated timber (CLT), bamboo, and rammed earth are some of the sustainable building materials that are gaining popularity in the building industry. Read “Building materials are the key to sustainable construction”. by Chris Butters
  6. Transparency Act in Norway: There is a general desire for more transparency regarding the production of goods and the provision of services, especially relating to how businesses respect fundamental human rights and decent working conditions as part of these processes. The Transparency Act introduced in Norway in July 2022 requires enterprises to conduct due diligence assessments, meaning that they must look at both their own business, their supply chain and their business partners to find out where the biggest risks are.
  7. Biofili: Biofili is an architectural design approach that incorporates natural elements and biophilic principles into buildings to improve the well-being of the people living or working in them. In 2023, biofili is expected to continue to gain popularity as more research shows the positive impact that nature can have on mental and physical health.

Overall, sustainable building is becoming an increasingly important focus in the construction industry. As these trends continue to gain momentum in 2023, architects, builders, and designers will have an important role to play in creating buildings that are energy efficient, comfortable, and environmentally friendly.