Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Google Trends offers insight into the direction of green building

From Jetson Green:

Google Trends Offers Insight into the Direction of Green Building 

Google Trends has been on the radar of software techies, research junkies, Google aficionados, and the otherwise internet-obsessed since the summer of 2006.  It’s a tool for tracking the search popularity of high traffic terms.  For anyone wanting to keep their finger on the pulse of green building, this is a quick, although certainly not definitive source of information on where the curious live, who still needs to be clued in, when the tipping point occurred for various green ideas and products, and what – in general – is the direction of interest in green building.

The term ‘green building’ itself seems to be only slightly on the rise, if not at least remaining steady, just like a couple of other generic enviro-terms like ‘green’ and ‘eco’ and ‘energy efficient’ – nothing to write home about.  But, digging a little deeper, it is not hard to discover that certain specific, in-the-weeds green building parlance such as ‘low-voc,' ‘light pollution,' ‘dual flush,’ ‘water saving,' ‘greywater,’ and even ‘USGBC’ all saw a significant jump in activity starting somewhere between mid-2005 and early 2007 (the same is true for a number of climate change-related phrases like ‘carbon emissions’ and ‘sea levels’).

This backs up the oft-cited observation that environmental consciousness made a leap forward around 2006, and while people were previously just thinking about green building, in the past couple of years, they’ve started getting their hands dirty.  Not exactly a revelation, but it is useful to begin to understand what aspects of green building are creeping into the mainstream more quickly than others.  Some buzzwords, including ‘weatherize,' ‘storm water management,' ‘rapidly renewable,' and ‘open grid pavement’ haven’t even hit the critical mass necessary to be worth tracking (or so says Google).

Google Trends Offers Insight into the Direction of Green Building

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