5 Ways Home Builders are Promoting Sustainability
Sustainability has captured the attention of the real estate market. In response to this movement, construction companies actively seek ways to incorporate eco-friendly practices and products into their new builds and remodels. According to the National Association of Home Builders, 66% of homebuyers want sustainable materials used in their homes.
In a nutshell, it's worth the upfront investment for construction companies to opt for sustainable materials since buyers have proven they'll provide a return on investment (ROI). Aside from ROI, sustainable concepts are here to stay and are what future buyers will want. Read on to learn the top ways construction companies are currently promoting sustainability.
Using Biodegradable Materials In Construction
Integrating biodegradable and green-friendly materials is essential to promote sustainability, and contractors respond by using these products in new construction and remodeled homes. Materials they're using include low and no-VOC paint, low and no-VOC carpeting, recyclable countertops, recyclable flooring, and green insulation.
Integrating Solar Features
Solar integration is a sustainable building trend and, as the technology matures, it's steadily gaining traction. As a result, costs of solar are declining, and construction companies are integrating these products into building plans in areas where the solar potential is worthwhile. Top products offering solar features include panels, water heaters, and other practices designed to work in conjunction with these products. Furthermore, federal and state governments are actively promoting solar energy, including passing related laws and timetables to implement solar solutions. This signals solar probably will become more standardized in the very near future. In Colorado, solar features can help homes comply with Breckenridge's new sustainability code.
Installing Smart Appliances
Smart appliances take Energy-STAR rated products to the next level to offer even better energy and water conservation. Contractors are increasingly opting to include smart ovens, refrigerators, washers, dryers, and even HVAC systems in houses. These products offer homeowners a high level of control regarding electricity and water usage. They also enable them to maintain this control when at work, on vacation, or otherwise away from the home.
Utilizing Cool Roofing Technology
The materials used to build traditional roofs aren't the most energy-efficient. Up to 90% of roofs built in the U.S. are poorly designed with non-reflective, heat-absorbing, and dark materials. These components contribute to roofs heating up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit above outside temperatures on the warmest days.
To solve this problem, many builders are now utilizing cool roofing technology. How do cool roofing technologies work? This tech prevents heat absorption by reflecting the sun's heat away from the home and releasing its radiation back into the atmosphere. This offers many benefits.
- Lower internal temperatures in the home
- Little to no maintenance
- Improved air quality
- Reduced air pollutant emissions
- Potential for utility rebates
Cool roofing technology can reduce utility expenses by up to 50%, and the materials can be recycled at the end of their lifespan. There are a variety of roofing systems approved by the EPA that adhere to cool roof technology standards, meaning contractors can offer various options.
Pursuing LEED Certification
Construction companies have been increasingly pursuing LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification in recent years. LEED concepts and practices were once primarily focused on commercial buildings, but this trend is rapidly expanding into the residential housing market. Essentially, LEED homes are built with sustainability in mind. This means the builders and contractors are using fewer resources, generating less waste, using green building materials, and sourcing materials as locally as possible to cut back on their current and future carbon footprint. These high-ROI home improvements are a great way to increase property value.
Sustainability in Residential Real Estate Is Here to Stay
When construction companies invest in sustainable building practices, the result is lower energy usage, reduced waste, utilizing resources to their maximum, emphasizing recyclable and renewable products, and, ultimately, creating an environmentally-friendly home.
In the past, green energy initiatives and sustainable concepts were either out of reach from a tech standpoint or cost-prohibitive. Today that's all changed. As the technology matures, visions come to reality, and costs for development decline, builders have a better opportunity to incorporate eco-friendly products and practices into their new construction and remodeling projects.