There is little doubt green construction is on the rise in commercial and residential projects with more than half of all construction companies saying they plan to incorporate more green practices moving forward. While green construction can cost more immediately, the long-term benefits not only help the home or business owner, they benefit the planet as a whole.
Smart Technology on the Rise
More and more homes are using smart technology to better meet the needs of the people residing there. When it comes to construction, there is a rise in using lights that automatically shut off if no one is in the home as well as smart heating and cooling systems. Smart thermostats are often installed as well so residents can control and program their heating and cooling remotely. Technology is also being used to draw up plans and test for any possible issues. This allows construction crews to easily swap out materials or prevent any real issues from rising.
Homeowners (and business owners for that matter) are trending towards appliances that can help reduce their energy bill as well as their footprint. High-efficiency appliances that are becoming increasingly popular include heating systems, air conditioners, dishwashers, and washing machines. As the technology becomes more widely implemented and available, these products also become more affordable and therefore more widely used in new construction and remodels.
Recycled and Sustainable Materials
One of the biggest trends seen in green construction is the use of recycled materials in both new construction as well as remodels. Reclaimed and recycled wood is being used for flooring, cabinetry, and even for the structure of some buildings. Recycled steel is also making headway because it is more durable than wood, which is important in earthquake-prone regions, but also easier to produce than wood, making it more environmentally friendly.
More construction companies are using biodegradable materials including natural paints that lack the VOCs found in standard traditional paint options, eliminating indoor pollution and contamination.
These buildings are designed and engineered to make the most of renewable resources like wind and solar power and operate entirely off the grid. Zero-energy buildings not only save energy and cut costs significantly, they also don’t produce any additional greenhouse gasses. Most of these designs use a combination of wind turbines, biofuels, and solar panels to provide the electricity the building needs to run efficiently and effectively. These types of buildings cost more upfront, but have offer greater long-term rewards.
Cool roofs are quickly gaining popularity, especially in urban areas. The roofs are made of special tiles coated in reflective paint that reflects sunlight and therefore heat. This helps keep the whole building cooler, reducing the need to use air conditioning in the summer. These roofs also help lessen the heat island effect that typically happens in urban areas during the hot summer months.
This roofs can be paired with low-emittance windows that have a special coating on them to block the sun’s rays during summer, while still keep heat inside during the winter. These both bring down HVAC costs, but more importantly, reduce energy consumption and therefore the amount of greenhouse gas emitted.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Econoheat., the world’s #1 leading waste oil heaters manufacturer.