Sustainability Is Key: 6 Green Trends in Home Construction
Many home construction experts are taking the task of sustainable building seriously by putting sustainability at the forefront of all they do. By making this move, they help homeowners adjust their carbon footprint and minimize their impact on the environment. The following examples are some ways these professionals are making a difference in home construction.
1. Smaller Footprints
As the tiny home trend took off, modern home builders got an inside look at how to effectively maximize space. Although not all homes need to be less than 500 square feet to be sustainably built, the smaller the footprint, the better. Many builders are creating exquisite homes using just 1,500 square feet of space.
To maximize the space inside that footprint, builders may:
- Install pullout bed frames in the walls
- Put in room dividers to allow flexible use of the space
- Integrate storage in staircases, under the floor, and other creative places
- Use pegboards and ceiling racks for kitchen storage
2. Bamboo Materials
This ultra-strong grass grows incredibly fast and grows back quickly after getting cut down. Beyond that, bamboo doesn't need any pesticides or fertilizers to grow healthy and strong.
Once it's harvested, bamboo serves as a beautiful building material, as it easily transforms into flooring, fencing, and so much more. It's also easy to bend, split, and cut without impacting its structural rigidity or appearance.
3. Spray Foam Insulation
It only takes a little spray foam insulation to fill a big space. The foam sprays out of the canister as a liquid and quickly puffs up to fill the cavity in full.
Not all spray foam products are the same, which is why green home builders select products that do not use harmful greenhouse gases. Instead, they select products that use low impact hydrofluoroolefins, or HFOs, to spray the foam out of the can.
The foam offers sustainability by reducing heat transfer. Due to that quality, homeowners do not have to use their heating or cooling systems as often to keep their homes at a comfortable temperature.
4. Gray Water Reuse
Although homeowners have been retrofitting their residences with gray water recycling systems for years, many green home builders are just now getting in on the trend. These systems clean and disinfect the gray water from the shower, bath, and washing machine to let it get another use before going down the drain.
The kitchen sink, dishwasher, and toilets continue to send the water straight down the drain to keep contaminants out of the gray water system. The rest of the water gets reused to run the laundry, flush the toilet, or irrigate the lawn, saving up to 300 gallons each day.
5. Green Roofs
Green roofs got their start in the multi-family residential and commercial building world. Apartments and office buildings opted to use their flat roofs as a garden space to treat their tenants to fresh air. From there, it took off, as builders saw the potential for these roofs to work perfectly on single-family homes as well.
No matter where they are installed, green roofs help insulate the structure and aid in the management of rainwater. Not only that, but these roofs tend to last longer than traditional materials. They also provide a place for homeowners to grow their own food and improve the air quality around the building.
6. Solar Power
With solar power at the heart of their builds, construction professionals can eliminate each home's reliance on the local power grid. Homeowners will need to install the solar panels at the ideal location on the property and hook them to a set of batteries that store energy for use at night or on cloudy days. By doing so, the home can fully rely on renewable energy to power its HVAC system, appliances, and lighting both day and night.
By using these sustainable trends, construction professionals can make a difference with each new home they build. Owners of older homes can even take note and use some techniques during their remodels to help reduce their carbon footprint as well. Together, everyone can employ small changes that make their homes a lot more energy efficient.