Check Out the Latest Trends in Sustainable Real Estate Construction
As homebuyers increasingly prioritize eco-friendliness and energy-efficient upgrades, new sustainable trends emerge in the real estate construction industry. Not only are these trends in demand, but they offer a solid return on investment for sellers. If you're building a new home and looking to reduce your environmental impact, keep reading to learn about seven sustainable construction trends emerging in residential real estate.
What Constitutes Sustainability in Home Building?
Before diving into means, methods and materials, let's explore just what sustainable building entails. Essentially, builders take extra time and effort to use recyclable and renewable materials during construction while employing eco-friendly logistics and approaches to minimize waste.
This helps lower the current CO2 emissions attributed to the construction industry. Green builders use numerous approaches to achieve more meaningful sustainability goals in homebuilding.
Zero-Energy Home Construction
Zero-energy homes are fully optimized for energy efficiency, allowing owners to enjoy a net-zero energy bill. It does cost more up-front to build a zero-energy home, as it takes unique mechanisms and specific materials that are more expensive than traditional approaches, but the savings pay off over time. Other aspects of this sustainable building approach include careful placement of windows, solar installations, and high-efficiency systems that minimize energy use while taking advantage of nature.
Recyclable, Sustainable & Biodegradable Materials
Recyclable materials are fantastic—steel, for example, can be reused almost endlessly—but the recycling process and industry itself also require a good bit of expense to operate. With that in mind, many contractors and custom home builders seek biodegradable materials such as cork, bamboo, bioplastics, and linoleum. At the end of the material's useful lifespan, such as a building's demolition, these materials can be broken down without releasing toxins into the environment. Builders also take care to use no or low-VOC products, as VOCs (volatile organic chemicals) can be harmful to the earth and occupants of the home.
Energy-Efficient Green Insulation
Traditional fiberglass insulation is not very sustainable, and it can be challenging to install and cause discomfort when owners need to get into un-floored attic spaces. Green insulation is typically crafted from a recycled or recyclable foam-like material or shredded paper that is blown in and offers exceptional energy-saving benefits. This can be excellent for adding extra insulation for efficiency and soundproofing in crawl spaces and between walls.
Solar Energy Installations
Not only does solar power provide homes with energy at no cost, but excess amounts they collect can be sold to many electric providers for credit or cash. Solar installations are a win-win for the planet and occupants paying the bills. Most owners will qualify for federal tax credits for photovoltaics installations as an added perk.
Low-Temperature Roofing Solutions
Cool roofing is another sustainable building trend for commercial and residential real estate. These installations can reduce the temps on rooftops up to 100 degrees, which helps control heating and cooling use. Typically made of recyclable materials, cool roofing is an excellent investment in a sustainable home that pays off year after year.
At-Home Geothermal Energy Sources
Harnessing geothermal energy involves a special installation approach in new construction, and this addition is designed for optimal sustainability. Using geothermal energy, homes will ultimately utilize far less generated power, instead of taking advantage of the earth's natural warmth. These installations can furnish hot water and warm air for heating needs in colder months via an underground loop system connected to ventilation and water sources.
Energy-Efficient Window Installations
While dual and triple-paned windows are more efficient than traditional styles, modern options for installations employ smart glass. Smart glass for windows and skylights creates a sustainable environment, as the panes' properties allow them to transition from translucent to transparent. In essence, windows and skylights with smart glass can block some or all specific wavelengths of light to retain heat or release it from home.
Sustainable Construction Trends Optimize Home Efficiency
Whether one is planning to have a custom home built or is planning renovations on an older home, employing some of the newest homebuilding technology to promote sustainability is a win-win. Lower bills for occupants and less stress on the planet; there's nothing to lose and everything to gain!