How are Construction Companies Promoting Sustainability?
Eco-friendly trends in home living have been steadily gaining traction in recent years. Statistics shared by the National Association of Home Builders indicate that 66% of consumers prefer durable materials used in their homes. The average buyer is willing to pay more than $9,000 upfront to save $1,000 a year on utility costs. In response to consumer preferences, many construction companies have embraced sustainable ways and eco-friendly practices to build or remodel homes. Read on to learn about some of the most popular sustainable building trends available now.
Pursuing LEED Certification/Implementing Green Practices
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification has become a visible credential in today's building industry. Walking through major cities, the LEED certification stamp can be found on the front of many commercial buildings. This trend is quickly making its way to private housing. LEED homes are built with sustainability as a priority. With this approach, construction companies use fewer resources and generate less waste. Materials used include green building materials such as bamboo, stone, steel, natural fibers, recycled glass tiles, composites, cellulose, insulated concrete forms, polyurethane, non-VOC paints, fiber cement, and slate/stone roofing. Companies also try to source materials locally as much as they can.
Emphasizing Water Conservation
Builders today are generally placing a huge emphasis on water conservation. This includes practices during construction and integrating water-conserving features in the homes they build. Homeowners will find efficient plumbing features have been included in their homes to help promote water conservation. Top features homeowners enjoy in their newly constructed (or reconstructed) homes include low-flush toilets, tankless water heaters, drip irrigation, and tanks to collect rainwater.
Integrating Smart Technology Appliances
Smart technology is certainly no fad. It's here to stay. The majority of today's house hunters actively pursue homes that feature smart technology. Aside from the high convenience aspect smart tech offers, it also promotes sustainable living. Most new homes will feature some form of smart tech, and even older homes are being upgraded to include it. If a home doesn't come with these appliances, they can be installed later as a high-ROI home improvement project.
Popular smart tech products in sustainable construction homes include smart appliances, LED lighting, smart thermostats, and motion lights. Products not yet standard but steadily making their way to that status include Wi-Fi-enabled light switches, smart door locks, video doorbells, and automated window shades. The beauty of these and other smart products is that homeowners can control their energy usage while simultaneously boosting energy efficiency.
Adding Passive Solar Features
Passive solar initiatives are a terrific way to maximize the sun's energy. Aside from adding solar panels or solar water heaters, other practices are designed to work with these features to maximize their benefits. For instance, builders integrate windows that maximize the sun's power, use sustainable insulation, promote air sealing, and install auxiliary heating and cooling systems. As this technology matures and more laws are passed to integrate solar, it's a sustainable trend that will likely accelerate more very soon.
Including Health and Wellness Features
Another sustainable construction trend this year is builders responding to buyer preferences regarding health and wellness features. Homebuyers don't want toxic materials in their homes and are willing to pay more to avoid them. Homes certified for health and wellness features will often fetch a few extra dollars in asking prices. As such, construction companies and contractors are responding. Features they include in homes include zone heating, UVC fans, indoor air quality sensors, and outdoor features to promote fresh air. The U.S. Department of Environmental Protection offers a list of green building standards available to construction companies and contractors.
Sustainable Construction Helps Your Budget and the Environment
While sustainable practices are rapidly increasing, some builders are taking it a step further by setting a goal to build "net-zero homes." These carbon-free homes yield homeowners a net-zero energy bill. These trends and innovations will certainly continue to be included in new builds and remodels. If planning on buying a new construction home, think about including some sustainable construction features. After all, sustainability is undoubtedly here to stay.