The best green building trends for 2015 make environmentally friendly materials and practices live comfortably with the end user’s need for something beautiful. No longer a question of aesthetics or environmental effect, there’s so much variety that everyone gets what they really want. This is great news, considering that green construction is predicted to keep growing for many years to come.
Now that we’re entering an era of beautiful sustainability, the possibilities seem almost endless. Here is what’s creating a major buzz in the industry this year:
Net Zero Energy
There was a time when a net zero home was more fantasy than reality. The ideal scenario was to create a building that produced enough energy to match or surpass its consumption. That’s no longer a theory or even a rarity, according to ArchLinked.
Net zero construction is real, attainable, and a big trend. Solar panels, extraordinary insulation and alternative energy help make it possible. And because it’s becoming more common, it’s also more affordable, which naturally helps make it more universally attainable.
Affordable Green Technology
When something is considered a radical, you’re not likely to find it on the shelves of your local home improvement store. But as green building materials and technology become more mainstream, widespread affordability is the natural result. It’s the same with any technology. Remember, in 1985 a CD player cost the modern equivalent of about $1,700. As new techniques and materials emerge and humanity in general embraces green building, more companies jump on the bandwagon and competition drives the costs down. That’s great news for the American consumer.
Green building doesn’t just mean less effect on the environment. It also means buildings that are healthier for people to live and work in. Low and non-toxic materials, filtered air and reduced exposure to radiation are only a few ways that green building benefits the end user.
Paints, flooring, treated lumber, finishes, insulation and just about every element of a building can either contribute to pollution or not. The trend for 2015 is more choices and fewer toxins.
Passive Climate Control
Anyone who has closed the drapes to block out the summer sun or opened them to enjoy some warmth on a cold day already knows the effect of passive climate control. But now, homes are designed to capitalize on it.
The trend is in construction that allows a building to take advantage of as well as control the elements. Sun is used for warmth and shade and green roofs are used for cooling. This reduces a building’s reliance on HVAC systems.
Built in Water Conservation
California’s drought is a real eye-opener, and it’s unfortunately only one area of many around the world in desperate need of water. Water-smart construction focuses on the problem directly instead of merely addressing it in terms of water restrictors in showers and low-flush toilets.
Rainwater collection, graywater reuse as well as the more traditional conserving appliances and fixtures combine to reduce a building’s reliance on city or well water. As the water crisis continues, it’s a safe bet that more avenues for conserving water will gain traction.
Green building trends are sometimes flights of fancy, and sometimes sound ideas that really work. In 2015, years of science and applied building practices have created an environment where real advances are starting to happen in earnest. These are only a few of the trends that you can expect to see, and in years to come they’re likely to improve exponentially.
PDH Academy helps you stay in tune with advances in green building materials, techniques and the laws that govern their use. Check out our courses when your next professional development hours are due. Who knows? You might design the next important trend that saves money, energy and makes the planet a little bit healthier.