Being green isn’t just about recycling or reusing your bags anymore. It’s an important choice that influences all parts of your lifestyle. And for some eco-conscious individuals, it even affects decision making when it comes to their home and amenities.
In today’s environmentally aware market, many homeowners are looking towards green solutions to live more sustainably and to save costs. Here are the top trends in homebuilding for a greener future.
Solar panel power
The trend to use solar panels as a source of home energy is one that keeps growing. In the U.S., its usage increased by over 30% in 2014, and the trend is expected to continue to rise. The average cost for solar technology has also dramatically dropped over the past few years, making it more affordable and realistic for homeowners to implement. There are even online solar calculators for how much it would cost. However, not all roofs are ideal for panels. Solar shingles act as a great replacement for these homes.
Better building materials
Using locally sourced materials such as wood or steel from nearby providers saves on transport costs and reduces the size of a home’s environmental footprint. Many homeowners who care about carbon emissions will look towards working with local suppliers for their building needs.
Bamboo is also a fast growing and readily available option. Its high oxygen emission greatly benefits the environment, making it a popular eco-choice for flooring and cabinetry.
Another green trend in homebuilding is the use of technology to implement smart home monitoring systems. By using connected devices, home heating and lighting can be automated to save on energy costs. In fact, a condo developer in Toronto is setting out to create the first home that is completely controlled from a smartphone. In addition to saving 20 to 30 percent of energy usage costs, connected homes can also provide strategic insight on usage patterns.
Be tight about it
Homes that are sealed tightly are more environmentally friendly, saving costs by regulating heat, air and moisture levels indoors. While some new builders can work on creating homes that are constructed with this in mind, many homeowners are focused on creating solutions for their older properties. This includes installing weather-resistant barriers like housewraps, or updating window and door fixtures to ensure proper insulation.