2018 is shaping up to be a big year for residential Green Building with the industry expected to double by then. Whether you’re building or upgrading, we explore some of the latest trends in sustainable home design so you can start prioritizing your eco-upgrades.
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1. LED Lighting Upgrade
Simple & Affordable! LED lights consume up to 90% less power and last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. To get the most benefit, consider retrofit kits for a true conversion.
2. Home Automation
Yes, there’s an App for that! Energy management systems (EMSs) monitor energy consumption and can automate HVAC, lighting and heating systems that translates to huge energy use reduction.
3. Smart Windows
Clear to opaque and back again, all controlled by your smartphone or a Harry Potter-esque wave of your hands. Lower your A/C bills, have less furniture discoloration and spend less time cleaning.
4. Reclaimed Materials
Re-purposing old objects rather than building things from scratch can add character, history, and charm to any space. Shop local flea markets, antique stores or salvage yards for design elements.
5. Bringing the Outdoors In
Refreshed, calm and one with the earth, the outdoors has always appealed. Straight lines and geometric shapes are out. The trend is towards rough edges, natural finishes, and organic patterns.
6. Daylight Harvesting
Automated daylight harvesting systems monitor the level of natural light in a home at any one time. If it rises above a baseline, the artificial lights dim; if it drops below, they brighten.
7. Solar & Wind Power
You already know the benefits of solar power but did you know small wind electric systems are “one of the most cost-effective home-based renewable energy systems.”?
8. Home Energy Storage
Batteries capable of storing enough power for an entire home are expected to be as common as rooftop solar panels in a decade.
9. Tankless Water Heaters
Because they only heat water when needed, tankless water heaters use significantly less energy, take up less space, and last longer than traditional water heaters.
10. Natural Insulation
With a giant return on investment, natural insulation such as wool, hemp, and some types of biodegradable foam are actually better insulators than fiberglass, and are eco-friendly during production and once discarded.
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