The past year has seen an unprecedented level of scrutiny concerning environmental practices in just about every aspect of life — including home construction and renovation.
If you’re looking for green construction technology to incorporate into your home (either through DIY projects or by hiring a contractor), you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll explore six such examples of green technology for construction that are shifting the way we construct and renovate homes.
Key Examples of Green Construction Technology Shaping the Industry
1. Sustainable Insulation
The construction industry has come a long way from the days of asbestos, which was terrible for the environment, also endangering workers and tenants.
Even more modern insulation has been bad for the environment, though.
Thankfully, hydrofluorocarbons are swiftly being replaced by organic materials such as sheep’s wool and cotton.
Many of these sustainable insulation materials are popping up in home improvement stores all across the country.
This means you can swap your less-sustainable insulation out for relatively little money during any project that involves removing drywall.
Because insulation is such a crucial component of every building, this development represents one of the most promising examples of new green technology for construction.
2. Zero Energy Design
Zero energy buildings make up some of the most prominent green projects in the United States (click here to learn about the biggest 10).
As such, most major general contractors and architects are developing zero energy designs to stay competitive.
Such practices aim to reduce air leakage and wasted energy through intelligently-designed windows, doors, and insulation methods.
Even if you’re not looking to build an entirely new home, you can incorporate some zero energy building techniques into your existing space. Some examples include:
- super-insulating your house (reduces heating and cooling bills)
- installing energy-efficient lighting
- using solar tempering with south-facing windows (more on this shortly)
- installing heat recovery ventilation (HRV) systems
3. Heated Flooring
For years, green technology in construction was viewed as a compromise and even an inconvenience for builders and inhabitants of buildings.
Both parties interpreted ‘green technology in construction’ as being synonymous with ‘forgoing modern luxuries.’
Today, advancements in technology such as heated flooring have shattered this perception.
Companies like Warmfloor produce low-voltage, energy-efficient heated flooring.
Other companies, such as Radiantec, even offer heated flooring solutions that utilize solar energy.
Whether you’re looking for creative ways to decrease your reliance on an energy-intensive furnace or just simply looking for the convenience that heated flooring provides, these are great options to consider.
4. Green Road Construction Technology
If you live in a rural area (in other words, you have a very long driveway or even roadways on your property) green road construction technology advancements should interest you.
Examples of green technology in road construction include alternative materials and systems that allow for minimized water usage during the construction process.
Both of these may be of interest to you if you’re planning on redeveloping roadways on your property.
5. Compressed Earth Block (CEB)
A Compressed Earth Block building under construction in Texas.
Next on our list of green construction technology, we have compressed earth block (CEB).
This construction method relies on a mechanical press that forms blocks from sustainable elements like subsoil, aggregates, and clay.
Developing nations like Mexico have been using this method for years but it was only in recent times that it produced bricks stable enough for use in the developed world.
Companies in southwestern states like New Mexico, Arizona, and California have begun using them for certain types of structures, including homes like these ones.
Even if you’re not building an entirely new home, you can use this piece of green construction technology for smaller projects like a brick wall surrounding your property or lining your flower beds.
If you have deep pockets, you can buy a machine to make the blocks yourself.
Otherwise, companies like Watershed Block mass-produce them. As this process gets more and more refined, you will likely see other manufacturers pop up in greater numbers.
6. Passive Solar Power
In recent years, solar panels (which are an active form of solar power) have come under scrutiny.
While the technology is still useful in many applications, chemicals used to make solar panels can be problematic for others.
Passive solar power, on the other hand, uses the sun’s rays in a much simpler way.
One common method is to intelligently place windows throughout a property so that they direct sunlight in a way that heats the home adequately without electricity.
This is a key tenet of Passive House architecture, which has become overwhelmingly popular in the United States.
Other examples of passive solar power include sensors that adjust dampers, vents, and awnings to control the flow of sunlight so that a house remains optimally heated.
For the environmentally-conscious home renovator or builder, there are now more examples of green construction technology than ever.
In this post, we looked at seven prominent examples that you can incorporate in one way or another into your home project.
Be sure to check out the many guides we have on the site for putting these methods into practice!