5 sustainable trends that home builders are adopting

‘Going green’ has been a concept that has started to seep into every facet of everyday lives. From the choice of brands to changing habits or even dietary preferences, the environmental concern has become an influential factor. So it is no surprise that the homes that we live in are also expected to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Home builders have started to notice an increase in the demands and concerns for homes that promote a more sustainable and greener lifestyle. With benefits such as lower maintenance costs, better conservation of resources, and improved standard of living, it is only going to be more popular in the future. Here are some of the trends that can be useful for homebuilders in their next projects.


http://solent-art.co.uk/?p=1462 Using sustainable materials in construction

The process of building new homes or buildings can also affect the surrounding environment not only in the short term but also in the longer run. Materials such as sustainable wood, cork, bamboo or even recycled materials like steel can aid in not only having a lower carbon footprint but also supporting local businesses as well. Low and no-VOC paint, low and no-VOC carpeting, recyclable countertops, recyclable flooring, and green insulation are also some additional ways to dial up the eco-friendliness of the home.


Passive home design

Passive home design is one that makes the most of the local climate to help maintain a comfortable desired temperature in the home for its inhabitants. The goal of passive design is to have homes minimise the reliance on additional cooling or heating systems. There are multiple elements that go into designing such homes such as the ventilation, orientation, insulation, shading, and many more. All these factors work together to maximise the natural methods of heating and cooling, such as the sun and the wind while minimising any unwanted heat gain and loss. A home that is built around a passive design will have lower greenhouse gas emissions and higher energy efficiency.


Energy efficiency

Talking about sustainability will entail the topic of energy efficiency. The heating and cooling of homes are two of the heaviest functions that use the maximum amount of energy. Along with the passive design and use of sustainable materials for green insulation, homebuilders need to consider the possibility of integrating new technologies that are aimed at maximising energy efficiency. Home energy management systems (HEMS) are gaining in popularity and are the right solutions for homeowners to take their energy management to the next level. These devices can optimise the use of energy by appliances by navigating the fluctuating energy prices to reduce energy bills. They also can integrate any in-house renewable energy sources to provide the best efficiency of energy.


In-house renewable energy source

Home builders should consider encouraging homes with their own renewable energy installations. Solar or wind energy installations are two of the most common energy sources for homes, especially solar energy since they are easier to install. Solar panels can be installed on the roofs of the homes and in conjunction with an energy storage solution like photovoltaic battery they can be a reliable source of renewable energy that is generated within the house. 

Having a residential energy storage installed can allow the homeowners to enjoy uninterrupted supply of energy. There are two main types of batteries that are available in the market, lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries. Though lead-acid batteries are cheaper, lithium-ion batteries are gaining in popularity due to their efficiency and longevity. A home with energy storage integrated with its energy grid from power suppliers can participate in demand-response programs that encourage customers to reduce power consumption during peak demand periods.

Solar water heaters are also a great way to reduce the usage of energy. By integrating measures that can maximise the home’s self-sustainability through renewable energy sources, the homeowner can not only save on energy bills but also contribute to the environment in a very impactful way. 


Electric vehicle charging points

There has been a considerable increase in the adoption of electric vehicles in the market and forecasts show that this trend will continue. So it is natural that the homeowners will sooner rather than later will require a provision in their homes to charge their vehicles. Installing charging stations in homes reduces the homeowners’ dependence on public charging stations that are not as reliable and available. Moreover, with volatile fuel costs, homeowners can have better stability in their expenses, especially if they have in-house solar power installation in conjunction with a HEMS. HEMS makes sure that there is no interruption in supply while vehicles are charged. Vehicles are charged only when there are lower power needs and either there is residual solar energy in the battery or when the prices for electricity from external suppliers are low.

KNX Association has been partnering with home builders, manufacturers, and other institutions to develop the latest technologies and standards for the best energy management. Visit www.knx.org to learn more.