5 Sustainable Technologies Being Used in Residential Construction
There is no denying the appeal to home buyers of having a home that utilizes sustainable construction methods, systems, and materials that minimize the dwelling's carbon footprint. Not only are these homes more energy efficient, but builders use environmentally friendly methods throughout the entire project to leave owners with a truly ‘green' home. Those interested in upgrading a current home or having one built from the ground up will want to know more about these technologies and materials that are pivotal to green home construction.
Cool Roofing Installations
Cool roofs excel at reflecting sunlight and heat away from the top of the structure and help maintain internal temperatures. Not only is cool roofing crafted of sustainable and recyclable materials, but they can drastically reduce cooling costs during hot seasonal weather.
According to the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC), cool roofs can save homeowners as much as 15 percent by reducing overall cooling demands. However, the materials might cause owners to pay more for heating, but the summer savings typically outpace heating costs overall.
Solar power is not a new innovation, but it is one area of eco-friendly construction concepts that has made great technological strides. In addition to traditional active roof panels that harness the energy of the sun for homeowners to use or sell back to the grid, materials and placement options have expanded.
There are ground panels, thin films, roofing tapes, and other methods that make solar power more affordable and easier to install. In green construction, passive solar power combines strategic window placement along with surfaces that absorb heat to further minimize the need for gas or electricity while minimizing solar use as well. Many homeowners qualify for special tax incentives as an additional motivator to go solar.
The Use of Biodegradable Materials
An essential aspect of a sustainable construction project entails the use of biodegradable materials to prevent the accumulation of toxic chemicals and waste products. The entire concept of green home building is to minimize any negative environmental impacts both inside and outside the dwelling. Key material considerations include:
- Low or VOC-free paints
- Exterior siding
- Interior finishes
- Countertop materials
- Green insulation
Green insulation uses newspaper and denim materials, and there are numerous eco-friendly flooring options with bamboo being a top choice. Employing a builder with experience in the use of biodegradable materials and construction techniques ensures that homeowners are doing their part when choosing to build green.
Electronic Smart Glass Installations
Electrochromic smart glass is more of a newer innovation in home construction, and its primary purpose is to reduce the levels of solar heat entering the structure. Technically, this ‘smart' glass utilizes electric signals that ‘charge' the window, hence affecting its ability to alter the amount of heat it reflects.
Because occupants will have the ability to control the amount of solar radiation they want to block, a massive amount of heating, cooling, and ventilation costs can be avoided. Furthermore, less use of these systems reduces output of fumes and fuel used for operation.
Smart Water & Smart Appliances
Efficient water technologies are essential in sustainable structures. When properly planned and implemented, smart water systems effectively include ways to reuse water through rainwater harvesting, dual plumbing, and water conservation fixtures, in order to reduce freshwater consumption and reduce water pollution.
Smart appliances give owners a greater level of both efficiency and self-sufficiency with more control over their home systems and implements. Popular choices for homeowners going green include smart-grid refrigerators, laundry devices, dishwashers, and heating and cooling systems.
Looking for a Sustainable Home Builder?
Don't go it alone when embarking on a new home construction that you want to have sustainably built. Be sure to contact local home builders who specialize in this trade, or reach out to a local real estate agent who can guide you to green home contractors.