Eco-Friendly Home Construction Trends Used by Sustainable Builders in 2023
Approximately 18% of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to fossil fuel combustion and energy production required for building residential and commercial real estate. Fortunately, new sustainable construction trends are helping reduce this environmental impact.
From eco-friendly materials to energy-efficient home upgrades, sustainable homes can save money and help the planet. Read on to develop your knowledge of sustainable home-building practices and materials.
The Goal of Sustainability in Home Construction
Eco-friendly home building practices aspire to use renewable and biodegradable products to reduce environmental impacts and minimize waste of materials and energy during builds. Furthering these efforts is the inclusion of features that create a "green home" environment. Check out what builders and buyers are including in sustainable properties.
Energy-Efficient Smart Glass
Dynamic glass, also known as smart glass, is a top trend in sustainable home construction. The demand in Canada for this fantastic green building technology is expected to increase exponentially in the coming years.
Smart glass can be thermochromic, photochromic (passive), or electrochromic (active). Thermochromic glass automatically tints as the glass heats up and returns to a clear state after it cools.
Electrochromic glass will quickly change between transparent and translucent stages when an electronic current is activated. Both types of smart glass allow occupants to reduce electricity consumption for heating and cooling.
Solar Ready New Construction Homes
There are specific things to keep in mind when buying new construction, and now those things extend to the potential for sustainability. When building a new home, contractors can put into place a ready-to-go setup should the buyer opt to install a photovoltaic system. Builders can integrate electrical and mechanical features using solar-ready design standards to streamline solar panel integration. Some design features they may consider include:
- Roof orientation and pitch
- Roof load-bearing limitations
- Space for circuit breakers and access to primary controls
- Placement of conduits and electrical panels for inverters
- Layout of chimneys, awnings and roof vents to prevent shading
Green Hydrogen Technology
There's a lot of debate over fossil-fuel-produced blue hydrogen, which further creates carbon dioxide. However, green hydrogen is produced by splitting water through the electrolysis process.
Because this electricity hails from renewable energy sources like solar or wind or solar, green hydrogen has a minimal carbon footprint.
As a liquid that burns, green hydrogen is a natural option to replace natural gas in heating, steel and concrete manufacturing. Hence, it's becoming a significant part of sustainable building practices.
Using Sustainable Materials
Using sustainable materials is one of the most important aspects of green building practices. There are several options, but these are the most trending today.
Bamboo is a wild grass with a high self-generation rate. It is solid and durable, making it a sustainable and affordable choice for those who want the appearance of hardwood without cutting down trees that take decades to be harvest-ready.
Crafted from the bark of the cork oak, which can be harvested every ten years without killing or damaging the tree. Beyond being sustainable, cork has other desirable qualities that include:
- Fire Retardant
- Naturally Anti-microbial
Cork can be used in homes as rigid insulation, floor underlay, and countertops. Hybrid cork-blend products can also be employed in constructing roofs, walls, and decking installations.
Salvaging building materials helps relieve the overload of landfills that diminishes soil quality and the environment. These materials can add charm, character, and beauty to homes, especially weathered pieces like cabinets, doors and windows.
Home Buyers and Current Homeowners Can Qualify for Grants to Go Green!
The Canada Greener Homes Initiative is set to provide $2.6 billion in grants for homeowners seeking EnerGuide retrofits and evaluations over the next seven years. This allows current owners the opportunity to enjoy sustainable installations with a bit of help from the government. So, whether you have a new home built or are an existing owner, obtaining a greener home with sustainable building practices is within reach.