Green Building, the New Standard

Green home building to become standard in the homebuilding industry.

By Camille Manaloto

As October rolls around, we are in the final months of the year. Green home building continues its rise to becoming standard in the homebuilding industry. Homebuilders are finding more and more ways to adapt to these new standards from building materials to new smart home technology.

Green Building Materials

“Consumers want green, healthy homes,” Michelle Foster, VP of sustainability at Home Innovation Research Labs, explained in our GHB interview. “They are healthier to live in, more durable, more comfortable, and more affordable because they cost less to heat and cool.”

As a direct result of the pandemic and stay at home order, buyers are focusing more on the quality of their homes. After spending over a year inside, people want their homes to be their safe place, and the homebuilding industry is adjusting to that.  

Green building material has many environmental benefits such as having a reduced carbon footprint, being non-toxic and renewable and being made from recycled materials. Aside from that, many of these materials are cost efficient. By using renewable energy with solar or wind power and harvesting rainwater for conservation, these low energy homes are thriving in the market. 

Reports and Data released new information estimating that the green building material market will grow 11.3% from $254.76 billion in 2019 to $573.91 billion in 2027. 

The homebuilding and construction industry is a laggard industry that is slow to change, while the research side is moving at a considerably faster pace. The big companies are now able to move with the changes, but smaller builders are still having a hard time keeping up. Foster says Home Innovations Research Labs and the National Green Building Standard offers all builders the building science and expertise they need to keep pace with the change.

Green home building is dominating in single family homes, because of the ease to switch over, but Walker Wells, Principal at Rami + Associates explains that switching to greener alternatives is not as simple in multi-family housing. 

“The shift to carbon-free sources of energy, in tandem with efficient and integrated end uses is essential, whether it is to comply with next generation building codes, support local or regional climate action plans,” -Walker Wells, President at Rami + Associates.

In his column, Wells informs readers of switches homebuilders are making to either mixed-fuel or all-electric homes. As many multi-family home developers are on the forefront of this change, there are many challenges that multi-home properties are facing to be able to bring carbon-free energy to affordable housing.

“The shift to carbon-free sources of energy, in tandem with efficient and integrated end uses is essential, whether it is to comply with next generation building codes, support local or regional climate action plans, or to contribute to meeting the commitments of the Paris Climate Agreement,” Wells said. “By being able to literally plug in to clean energy, all-electric buildings are like messengers from the future decarbonized built environment and low-carbon economy.”

Smart Home Technology

Similarly to green building materials, smart home technologies are quickly becoming standard in homes rather than being a luxury or add-on. Smart home technology is no longer limited to security systems and bluetooth speakers. With the rise in people being home, many companies are creating devices that bring the home to life, while being practical and eco-friendly as well. 

Health tech is a growing category, with devices like humidity sensors, which help monitor indoor air quality, as well as smart air purifiers and air conditioners. According to an article on Forbes, some smart doorbells are beginning to incorporate temperature sensors to screen guests entering the home. 

One of the great things about all the new technology is that it is very user friendly. They are simple to set up and use, many of them are accessible through smartphone and voice activation. Much of it is even accessible to disabled and elderly people. 

The world of homebuilding is becoming more green and more accessible to all people. From homeowners to affordable housing units, to the elderly and disabled, green is the new standard that homebuilders are moving towards. With third-party certifications, homeowners can be sure they are getting what they need in a home. 

 

Camille Manaloto is the editorial assistant for Green Home Builder Magazine. She can be reached at camille@builder.media.

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