The higher cost of energy combined with increasing environmental awareness is creating new trends towards more efficient and sustainable home construction. Building green requires a combination of sustainable design philosophies, construction techniques, subcontractor education and the correct products. So, if conscientious construction is your aspiration, here are a few of the top green building trends for 2020.
Radiant Barrier Roof Sheathing
Increase energy efficiency by using a radiant barrier roof sheathing, while also reducing condensation and moisture in the home and creating a healthier and more comfortable indoor living space. Products like LP® TechShield panels with VaporVents™ use technology that prevents moisture buildup during and after construction while blocking up to 97% of radiant heat in roof panels. Installed in more than 1.5 million homes in the United States, LP TechShield panels also lower attic temperatures up to 30° F.
Low E 366 Glass
New windows are one of the easiest and most impactful ways to lower energy consumption in the home. Windows with Low-E, or low-emissivity, glass minimize the amount of infrared and ultraviolet light that comes through your glass, without minimizing the amount of light that enters your home. High quality custom-made vinyl windows like the All Temp 3, with insulated LoĒ³-366 glass, use the latest technology to ensure the best possible insulation, UV protection, air infiltration resistance and seal strength.
Another exciting trend that is really gaining speed is the implementation of virtual reality and digital visualization into the design and construction process. Virtual reality tools allow the user a 360-degree understanding of complex construction logistics first hand to get a more accurate gauge of the products and project. It also helps create a “hands-on” experience for teaching and training subcontractors in the recommended sustainable building products and installation techniques.
Carbon Footprint Calculator
One of the most interesting new building tools on the market is the Embodied Carbon in Construction (EC3) carbon footprint calculator from Skanska. A primary objective of building an efficient green home is to keep the consumption of energy as low as possible. Measuring the energy consumption of home after it is constructed is relatively easy, but calculating how much energy the home will consume throughout construction and during its life time is much more difficult. The EC3 tool has a database of materials that allows architects, designers and contractors to calculate the embedded energy and the carbon impact on the environment. This proves helpful in product selection and evaluation during the design phase.
Finally, water conservation is another hot trending topic for builders and developers in 2020. The 2015 conditions in California with 70% of the state in extreme drought initially brought water concerns to national attention. That attention was recently compounded by the disastrous wildfires in California, Montana, British Columbia and Australia in 2019. Heightened concerns about the impact of future restrictions on water supplies is prompting builders, designers and developers to consider ways to further reduce water consumption in their communities. Many are adopting strategies such as water conserving fixtures like showerheads and toilets, water permeable surfaces for stormwater management, rainwater catchment systems and graywater recovery systems.
What green trends are you seeing or most interested to learn about? Tell us in the comments!