It’s estimated that we will produce 27 billion tons of solid waste by 2050. However, businesses can make a difference in reducing emissions by 60% by improving sustainability.
In fact, 76% of Americans want companies to take action to stop climate change and 73% said they would stop buying from a company that doesn’t take action against climate change.
Real estate has shifted toward sustainability as well. Interested in learning more about real estate sustainability trends? Here are 7 green real estate trends to know about.
1. Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters are an energy-saving alternative option to storage water heaters. They are also called instantaneous or demand-type water heaters.
Tankless water heaters don’t have a storage tank and instead heat the water directly whenever hot water is needed. When you turn on the hot water in your home, the water goes through a pipe in the tankless water heater. The pipe heats the water either through gas or electricity.
Your household can be 24%-34% more energy-efficient with a tankless water heater than a regular water heater if your household uses less than 41 gallons of hot water a day.
With a tankless water heater, you also don’t have the standby heat loss that you have with a regular storage water heater.
2. Green Roofs
Another green sustainable development is a green roof system.
Green roofs are especially helpful in cities. Due to the urban heat island effect phenomenon, cities are usually hotter than the rural areas that are around them. This is because a lot of heat gets trapped from all the concrete in the city.
This effect can make cities hotter during the summer and during heatwaves. Green roofs can reverse this effect. The plants on green roofs can actually cool a city down through evapotranspiration.
By cooling cities and buildings down, green roofs can reduce energy costs such as air conditioning.
What’s more, green roofs can reduce the risk of flooding in a city. With concrete roofs, the water during rain has nowhere to go. With a green roof, the water is absorbed by the vegetation.
3. Smart Homes
Another rising trend in staying green in real estate is smart home technology. There are several smart home technology investments that can make your home more energy-efficient.
One example would be LED lightbulbs.
These lightbulbs use less energy than incandescent light bulbs. If you install smart lighting, you can control when to turn off your lights and to make sure lights are not in use in empty rooms.
Another example is a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat can cool down or heat rooms depending on if someone is occupying the room or not.
This results in less wasted energy.
With a smart home, you can also see how much energy you’re using on your smartphone and have more control over that.
4. Solar Panels
Solar energy works by converting sunlight into electrical energy for your home. This energy is converted through photovoltaic panels or mirrors.
By using solar energy, you are using solar power and reducing carbon emissions. Although installing solar panels do have a high upfront cost, the cost of choosing solar energy has gone down every year since 2009.
If you’re interested in installing solar panels, but you’re not sure if your home is suited for solar panels, you can find professional solar installers who will work with you.
5. Tiny Homes
Have you heard of the tiny house movement? Tiny homes are popping up everywhere as a sustainable real estate trend.
A tiny home can reduce your carbon footprint because you’re using less energy to power a smaller home. A tiny home also requires less building materials.
What makes a home tiny? A tiny home is about 400 square feet. People who downsized to a smaller home use 45% less energy.
With a smaller home, you need fewer resources. A tiny home will use less energy to heat up or cool down. You also naturally buy less stuff because there is no room to store anything.
6. Using Sustainable Materials
You can make your home more sustainable by choosing green building materials. For example, there is the option of using reclaimed metal or wood.
Reclaimed material is used material from a home that is set for demolition. Instead of demolition, a company can disassemble a building and reuse the materials.
There are other recycled materials you can use for building a home such as recycled steel and recycled plastic.
In addition, there are sustainable materials you can use for building a home including:
- Rammed-earth tires
- Sheep’s wool
- Recycled glass
- Straw bale
Some of these green materials can be used for the exterior of buildings while others can be used for the interior.
7. Smart Windows
Our last item on the list for real estate sustainability trends are smart windows. Smart windows are windows that can change between transparent and opaque.
These windows can dim and become opaque in less than a minute. During the summer, you can turn on the opaque feature to block out the heat and light from the sun. This can save in cooling costs and reduce the use of the air conditioner.
In the winter, you can use the transparent option to allow sunlight to warm the home, reducing the need for turning on the heating system.
Moreover, when you need light, you can quickly turn the transparent feature to allow light and reduce the need for using light bulbs.
Final Thoughts on Real Estate Sustainability Trends
If you’re looking to purchase a new home and environmental sustainability is important to you, the items on the above list are some of the rising green trends in real estate.
With these real estate sustainability trends, you can use less energy and reduce your carbon footprint. You’ll also be saving money on energy costs in the long run.
To learn more about real estate trends, check out more articles in our blog.