top green building trends

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Urban Density. Filling in the spaces is the name of the game as homeowners and builders opt to create more living space with infill building and similar techniques.

Energy upgrades drive home remodels. Builders and remodelers have been able to capitalize on energy upgrade work.

Deployment and testing of new materials. National labs and university research departments are partnering with builders to create test beds and sensor-filled buildings that log the energy performance of new materials and equipment.

Consumer friendly home energy tracking devices. The introduction of the Apple-like Nest Learning Thermostat, and Belkin’s Conserve Insight energy use monitor that tracks energy use by appliance, are two of many sensor-based energy and water monitoring products for the home that are easy to use and help save money.

Transparency in home marketing. The increasing use of smart devices by consumers to instantly access information at a home site means that buyers are much more informed and can see through any greenwashing claims.

More accurate appraisals. The old-school appraisal criteria based on a drive-by look at a home—view, approximate square footage—no longer holds. The ability for sellers and buyers to ask their banks for a green-certified appraiser (Certified Residential Green Appraiser) means that the lending community will buy into the idea of the additional value and return on investment.\

Broader adoption of residential energy ratings for homes. Energy labeling systems are appearing in many states, offering a miles-per-gallon style estimate of a home’s energy consumption for homebuyers and homeowners.

Smart grid-compatible high-performance homes. According to Smart Grid News, household appliances (heating and cooling systems, refrigerators, electronics, hair dryers) account for 60 to 90 percent of the residential electricity consumption in the U.S. Increasing numbers of those appliances are becoming “grid-aware” and are gaining the ability to monitor and report their own usage and to increase or decrease their electricity usage by remote command.

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