sustainable building trends

Whether you’re buying or renovating, looking for sustainable building options is always a good idea in order to minimize cost and keep your property running efficiently in the long-term.

Going green also increases the resale value of your property: in fact, one recent study found homes certified for sustainability sold for 8% more on average than a similar home lacking certification.

The science behind sustainable building materials is rapidly advancing, so it’s a good idea to stay ahead of the curve and be informed on the latest trends in eco-friendly home design. 

East Coast Sustainability 

Solar panels

California and the West Coast have the reputation for being America’s eco-friendly, green haven, but recently the East Coast has been making serious strides in sustainable design trends as well.

In New York City, rooftop solar panels have skyrocketed in popularity, particularly in residential or family-owned buildings where owners are looking to save money on monthly heating expenses.

Similarly, houses for sale in NJ frequently advertise their sustainability index, so prospective home buyers can get a sense of how much carbon emissions their future properties are predicted to accrue each month.

In the south, municipalities across Florida are upgrading their building codes to better prepare for hurricane season: a trend that is likely to take off on the Northeast coastline as well, given the expected rise in flooding near the Atlantic. 

Recycled Metals

The infrastructure for recycling metal exists across the globe: research indicates that millions of tons of steel are recycled annually from scrap metal.

The results are durable: steel has the highest strength to weight ratio of any popular building material.

In interior decorating, recycled steel can be refinished to create sleek countertops, industrial-style lighting fixtures, and even floor beams.

It’s a particularly popular option for commercial buildings or areas with strict building codes, as steel isn’t flammable under normal conditions, and reduces waste costs associated with construction. 

Eco-Friendly Insulation 

Wool as insulation

Many homeowners are seeking an eco-friendly alternative to fiberglass: a synthetic insulator used in most homes that is linked to respiratory illness and asthma in young children.

Sheep’s wool, cotton, and Aerogel are all viable home insulation materials with a low energy impact. Most types of sheep need to be sheared once a year, which means that new sheep’s wool is available on an annual basis.

Sheep’s wool is one of the warmest materials for the body, but many builders don’t know that the material is also an excellent, fire-retardant insulation for homes.

Aerogel, an insulator made out of compressed air, also boasts a low carbon-emission rating, and is very lightweight to use, although the cost is slightly higher than that of cotton or wool. 

Recent improvements in the availability of sustainable building materials indicate significant progress in the global fight against climate change.

Most importantly, sourcing high quality, sustainable building materials will give you a good value for your purchase, minimizing future repairs and keeping your energy costs to a minimum as you prepare for the future.