Building a Green Home: 4 Sustainable Technology Trends in Residential Construction
Sustainability is the goal of many new construction trends used for home building. The environment has been a hot topic for years, capturing the attention of the world's stage. With eco-friendly initiatives influencing homeowners to choose energy-efficiency home upgrades and increase sustainability—it's no surprise that builders are adopting environmentally-conscious construction trends. What are the key elements of the most innovative green buildings in Canada? Here are some examples of this century's most green-minded building trends.
Why Sustainability Matters
Today's green construction trends focus on sustainability, which aims to minimize the consumption of natural resources. As buildings consume less energy and integrate more renewable and recyclable materials, they do their part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and landfill overflow. With each new eco-friendly building, the world gains an ally in the fight against climate change. Adopting green construction practices also ensures that less waste happens, which keeps more natural resources in their respective environments.
Use of Reclaimed or Recyclable Materials
Using recyclable materials or repurposing them so they don't go to landfills is a predominant trend in green construction. This is evident in buildings like the Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation at Humber College, which uses limestone and recyclable metal in its makeup.
Other sustainable material examples include anything else that is recyclable, reclaimed wood, and natural stone. So, the next time you see a log home made of reclaimed lumber, you can call it a green building.
Self-Sufficient Temperature Control
Whenever a building can regulate temperature control on its own or with very little need for heating and cooling, it can save a lot on energy costs. Buildings like the Manitoba Hydro Palace in Winnipeg use insulating curtain walls and a ventilating chimney to allow cross-flowing winds to keep the building cool in the hotter months. At the same time, these curtain walls can keep the building warmer in the winter by insulating the building.
Other green buildings in Canada use glazed windows or shade from planted trees to block the intensity of direct sunlight and keep facilities cool. This energy savings is essential when summer temperatures rise beyond normal averages.
Maximizing The Use of Natural Light
Sustainable buildings also make the most of natural sunlight to minimize the need for artificial interior lighting. The Manitoba Hydro Palace can serve as an example again due to its towers' unique A-shape formation that allows natural sunlight, allowing more windows in all directions and reducing the need for heavy interior light.
In other green buildings, you can find skylights installed in ceilings that let sunshine in throughout the day. In other office buildings, you can also find sizeable low-E glass windows that let in abundant natural light so that inhabitants don't need to turn on the lights during the day.
A green roof is a popular trend in eco-conscious architecture. It's at once excellent for the environment for its ability to replenish the atmosphere with O2 while insulating buildings to reduce energy consumption.
Green roofs can be covered entirely or partially by vegetation, which is naturally insulating during every season. These roof systems can also become a much-needed green space oasis within dense urban areas, providing calming natural environments that reduce stress. Since they are installed vertically, architects can plan beautiful park-like areas even when no raw land is available.
Sustainable energy is the future, and solar energy is one of the fastest-growing and accessible trends in green buildings; homeowners are increasingly looking into solar panels for their homes.
The Earth Rangers Centre For Sustainable Technology is an excellent example of a Canadian building that has taken this trend by storm. With over 324 solar panels installed on its premises, the centre can provide most of its energy needs on-site. You can find setups like this all over the provinces on larger and smaller scales.
While some solar panels are located on the ground, others are installed on roofs. However, no matter how large or small the project is, creating energy off-grid is a step toward an energy-efficient future.
Build a Green Home For a Green Future
Is your home ready for the future? As society becomes more aware of the importance of sustainability, these green building trends are becoming increasingly popular among new homeowners. If you're planning on selling your home in the near future, it's important to be aware of these trends and how you can incorporate them into your own home. By using sustainable materials, maximizing natural light, and investing in solar panels, you'll not only make your home more environmentally friendly but also increase your home's value.