Updated on June 14th, 2019
With increasing environmental awareness across the globe, sustainable housing will continue to grow in popularity. Some key goals behind creating a sustainable home include better energy efficiency at the time of construction and during occupancy, reducing harmful environmental impact, reduced utility costs, and longer life of the home.
Current Tendencies In Green Construction
If you have any plans to build a new eco-friendly home or upgrade your existing home to make it more green, having an idea of what’s trending in the industry is a great way to get inspired. If you live in Texas, you can also look at texas electricity ratings to check out and compare some green electricity plans.
1. LED Lighting
The US Department of Energy has predicted that, by the year 2030, LEDs will account for an estimated 75% of all lighting sales. You may have to pay more upfront to install LED lighting but the long-term benefits are worth it.
You will reduce your energy bills significantly because these lights require 80 to 85 percent less electricity than regular lighting. The less electricity required, the less CO2 released making them truly eco-friendly.
When you dispose of LED bulbs, no toxic mercury is released into the environment. They are constructed of cent per cent recyclable non-toxic materials.
2. Net Zero Energy
To really go all the way with your sustainable home, make it a net zero home. Such a home produces as much renewable energy as it consumes and is expected to increase in popularity.
Builders targeting zero energy first reduce the home’s energy consumption through good insulation and/or other methods and then introduce a renewable energy source such as solar panels. In fact, solar energy is discussed next.
3. Solar Lights
The sun’s energy is inexhaustible and tapping into it can help to cut down on energy bills. Solar rooftop panels are trending and offer a lightweight option to increase a home’s passive energy without any wastage, and storing power for use later. Irrespective of whether the climate in your area is sunny or cool, solar panels are a smart green way to power your home.
4. Water Efficiency And Quality
Unlike solar energy which will last, water is finite. Wise and non-wasteful use of water is important for homeowners today and is absolutely essential to a smart home. Some suggestions towards this end include:
- Timed water sprinklers
- Using low-flow, dual flush for the toilets
- Water-saving showerheads that achieve steady water pressure without compromising on efficacy.
- Installing taps with aerators wherever feasible
Closely linked to the process of achieving water efficiency is the trend of greywater reuse. Grey water is water that has been used only lightly (and thus relatively clean) which has been washed down the shower, drain, washing machine or tub. You can use this water for outdoor irrigation.
Increasing health concerns stemming from worries over water crises is making more and more people serious about water quality. Thus, complete water filtration systems look set to increase in demand. Clean water is not just good for your health but will also increase your home’s sustainability.
5. Smart Technology
Home automation or making your home smart enables the control of home devices remotely by a computer or smartphone. Various activities such as the automation of lighting (switching on and off), thermostat adjustments from your phone and using HVAC systems will make life easy while also contributing to energy savings.
6. Energy-Saving Appliances
Whatever be the device – stove or microwave, dishwasher or refrigerator, there is an energy –efficient alternative. As in the case of LED lighting, it is worth spending a bit more now to reap great cost savings in the course of time. You’ll be doing the environment a great favour too.
7. Make Your Home Healthy And Non-Toxic
Keeping the air in the home healthy and clean is another trend in sustainable housing. Having air purifiers is a good idea. You can also consider incorporating a superior ventilation system that would aid in getting rid of harmful elements in the indoor air and thereby make it fresh and hygienic.
Using low VOC paint is a small but beneficial step towards making your home eco-friendly. VOC is short for volatile organic compounds. Paint contains these harmful carbon-based chemicals which may evaporate into the air and are harmful to breathe. They also contribute to pollution. Low VOC paint options are now available and it is worth taking advantage of them.
8. Locally Sourced, Sustainable Materials For Construction
Though not really a new practice, using materials that are locally available in abundance can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by avoiding transportation or at least by reducing transportation distances.
Nowadays it is possible to incorporate flooring that is both aesthetically charming as well as environmentally friendly, into the overall home design. Popular flooring options in this respect include decorative concrete, earth-friendly tile such as reclaimed tile, natural hardwood and reclaimed wood flooring.
In closing, go green. Be happy! You’ll be contributing to your home’s resale value too.