Eco-Friendly Smart Homes Are Good For The Environment

Each single day, individuals from all walks of life begin enjoying the various benefits a wise home provides. Money savings and convenience the list, however, clever house owners may also feel good their house makes Mother Earth grin.

If you have always wondered what makes a wise house"smart" and the way the intelligent house supports an environmentally aware lifestyle you have come to the ideal location.

Where You Live Matters to Your Health

In this webinar, two renowned health experts will explain how the location of a home can impact disease, illness, and wellness—and how to make it better.

Join us May 12 at 2:00 pm for a new timely webinar, “Environmental Impacts on a Healthy Home: How Location Affects Disease, Illness, and Wellness,” with experts Eric Klos and Rick Bayless.

Is Homeownership Still a Smart Choice?

Building equity is the traditional way of safe saving, but make sure the math works, given your economic realities.

Let’s do some numbers. When you buy a house, you typically get a 30-year mortgage. Right now, interest rates are around 3 percent, the lowest in decades. 

The “Authority Podcast: Plumbing & Mechanical” Podcast Series Launches

Hear what the authorities have to say on a variety of topics related to plumbing, sustainability, and safety.

IAPMO is excited to announce the launch of a new podcast series, “The Authority Podcast: Plumbing & Mechanical.” Hosted by Christoph Lohr, IAPMO’s vice president of Strategic Initiatives, the series discusses the latest trends in plumbing and mechanical safety, sustainability, and resiliency with some of the brightest minds in the industry.

A House for All Seasons

Off grid, and made with low-maintenance materials, Upland Road House raises the resilience bar and earned a 2021 Green Home of the Year Award.

Then crafting a classy home in scenic New Zealand, two major words come to mind: sustainable location. That was the case when Craft Homes builder and managing director Toby Tilsley, and Solarei Architecture architect and founder Duncan Firth decided how they were going to develop what is now known as “The Upland Road House.”

Earth Day Reflections

Earth Day is an annual celebration of the environmental movement—an earnest reminder to take stock of our progress, celebrate our successes, and lament our losses.

Many people take time on birthdays and holidays to reflect on the year gone by. As a dedicated environmental steward, Earth Day is a benchmark for me—a moment in time to pause and think critically about the headway and setbacks we’ve experienced in our quest for sustainability.  

Indoor-Outdoor Connection Makes This Prefab Passive House Shine

This contemporary beauty proves that factory-built homes can achieve high design along with high performance. It also won a 2021 Green Home of the Year award.

The Lang/St. Marie Residence is a prefabricated, Net Zero home in the New Jersey shore town of Spring Lake Heights, designed as a weekend retreat for a retired couple from Brooklyn, New York.

First State Adopts 2021 Uniform Plumbing Code and 2017 WE•Stand

Oregon is the first state to adopt IAPMO’s 2021 Uniform Plumbing Code, employing it as the basis for the recently enacted 2021 Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code (OPSC).

Oregon is getting water smart. In addition to adopting the UPC this spring, the State Plumbing Board went even further to protect its water resources by adopting the 2017 edition of IAPMO’s Water Efficiency and Sanitation Standard (WE•Stand) in its 2021 Oregon Residential Reach Code.

Decking Products Have Sustainable Synergy for This Mountainous Getaway

Sponsored Content

At Mariposa Meadows, a fanciful outdoor living area featuring Trex products meets the site’s strict emphasis on durability and environmental responsibility.

Situated in the Gunnison National Forest at over 10,000 feet in elevation and weathering extreme temperatures, snow, rain, hail, and the impending risk of fire, Green Builder Media’s VISION House Mariposa requires special products. 

A Dose of Hope

Green Builder Media’s annual Sustainability Symposium made the case for optimism with its wide-ranging exploration of cutting-edge climate science, transformative innovations, reimagined national policy, and vanguard business strategies that will deliver us to a carbon-free future.  

From decarbonizing business operations to electrifying everything, the topics discussed at this year’s Sustainability Symposium 2021: Into the Light were a breath of fresh air. Speakers not only illustrated a roadmap to get to a zero-carbon economy, but also offered much-needed hope and inspiration to attendees.

Join RESNET’s One Tree Pledge

RESNET and the One Tree Pledge (OTP) sustainability campaign, announce a collaboration in celebration of RESNET passing the three millionth HERS-rated homes benchmark. 

The One Tree Pledge is a home sustainability campaign that aims to mitigate the carbon emissions from the energy use of home-dwelling by planting one tree for every one square foot of the house. 

4 Reasons the Built-to-Rent Market Is Heating Up

Built-to-rent housing is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the U.S. housing market, with demand from renters and investors exceeding supply.

The single-family rental home industry is now a $3 trillion market, with one million homes trading hands among investors annually. 

Spray Foam’s Pollution Reduction Outweighs Initial GHG Impact

A new report modeling SPF’s impact on the CO2 footprint of a home over its lifespan finds huge differences in impact, based on the type of blowing agent.

Every time I conduct a webinar about building science or making homes more resilient, I get critical emails from attendees about my inclusion of spray foam as an insulating mainstay. But I have continued to include it, because in terms of insulating value per inch and air sealing of conventional stick-framed homes, I haven’t encountered anything better in terms of performance. 

The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet

Michael Mann has spent the last two decades studying climate science. Even with a clear understanding of the substantial risks we face, he is optimistic about our future. Why? It’s in the numbers.

Scientist Dr. Michael Mann has been on the front lines of the battle for climate action for decades. He has witnessed firsthand the impact that avoidance, manipulation, and misrepresentation have had on our collective psyche—and on the planet. 

What to Know Before You Buy a House

Tiana and Shannon Harris have jumped both feet into rehabbing a 17-year-old home outside Austin. Midway through the process, they share some valuable lessons about buying a home that needs to be remodeled.

What was the most important thing to you when you were home shopping?

New Drainable WRB Offers a Disruptive Upgrade for Wall Assemblies

This self-stick, water-resistive barrier acts as a sort of Swiss army knife, solving building code, insulating, and resilience challenges.

One of the age-old problems with standard house wraps has been “perforation.” You’ve gone to great trouble to cover the sheathing, tape the seams and create a complete barrier, then you add siding and drive hundreds of nail holes through the material.

Another Reason Every Product Decision Counts

Any manufactured item we purchase matters, now more than ever.

My brother Mitch works in the hard sciences. He’s one of those wonky people you never hear of, who’s spent years counting ancient pollen spores from Siberia and looking at core samples from the last Ice Age. He’s embedded in the world of earth science.

Do Energy-Efficient Appliances Belong in Your DIY Budget?

Over the long haul, more efficient washers, dryers, and cooktops tend to save enough on water and electricity use to validate their up-front costs.

Next Generation Water Summit Hits This Summer

After a pandemic-induced hiatus in 2020, the Next Generation Water Summit (NGWS) is coming to a computer screen near you June 2–4. The event returns with the theme of “Drought, Growth and Social Inequity”, and each day is devoted to one aspect of that theme.

The 2021 NGWS will be held on a virtual conference platform. Attendees will be able to view live and recorded sessions, visit a virtual exhibit hall, and network with fellow attendees from across the country. 

The Renter’s Dilemma

You can upgrade from a rental unit to an affordable, more resilient form of shelter, but the path is fraught with wrong turns that must be avoided.

“Buying a home early in life is one of the best-kept secrets that kids aren’t taught in school or college,” notes Reef Merhi, Branch Manager at Texas United Mortgage in Houston. “When I was a kid, my dad bought a duplex for the family. We lived on one side and rented the other. The renters essentially paid our bills, and we lived free while they paid down the mortgage. We gained as home prices rose, and rental income smoothed the way.”

Webinar: The Mainstreaming of High Performance

Learn how to build high-performance, cost-effective, innovative homes in this webinar featuring Gene Myers of Thrive Homes.

What do today’s home buyers want? 

  • Clean-energy-encouraging solar 
  • Air-freshening HVAC
  • Environmentally clean all-electric
  • Net zero
  • Modern architecture
  • Unique design 
  • Easy decision making 
  • Affordability 

Individually, none of these elements present a big challenge for home builders, but making them all work together can be hard. 

Green Home of the Year: Energy-Efficient Compact House

Above-and-beyond energy saving features in this cost-effective New Zealand home won over Green Home of the Year judges.

Sometimes, small things can lead to a bigger one. That’s the case for the Emay Crescent Home in Pahi, Northland, New Zealand, which is the Grand Winner of Green Builder’s 2021 Green Home of the Year competition.

The 2021 Home Buyer’s Guide Released

The quintessential guide to homeownership options for the millennial generation is now available for free download. 

Millennials are tired of renting and dealing with landlords. They don’t want to live in their buddy’s basement or their old bedroom. They want a place to call home. They want a chance to earn equity, to put down roots. 

How Close is Robotic Labor?

Advocates for mechanized help on the job site say the shift has already begun with ‘smart’ excavation equipment.

Could robots be the answer to construction’s labor problem? The industry certainly seems to think so, with non-human workers being successfully tested to tackle tasks such as excavation, drywall installation, painting, and roofing, and headed for more efforts in the future. 

How Can We Design Pandemic-Ready Student Housing? 

When students finally go back to college campus communities, what kind of housing should they move into?

With the holidays approaching, universities and colleges continue to try and cope with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. A relatively small number of college campuses resumed class this past fall, and more plan to reopen doors in the spring 2021 semester. Others have locked up until at least fall 2021.

Why are Clothes Dryer Lint Fires on the Rise in New Homes?

Deadly house fires caused by dryer lint are on the rise, due largely to the use of extended duct runs for hot air discharge.

About five years ago, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) co-funded a study to measure how many fires in the United States begin with clothes dryers or washing machines. They looked at most major forms of housing: single family, multifamily, duplexes, condominiums, townhouses, apartments, and row housing, and what they found, in a nutshell, was the following:

The Case for Optimism

This year’s Sustainability Symposium is a free virtual event that offers two days of future-looking speakers. Here’s a sneak peek at the presentation planned by Andrew Beebe.

Venture capitalist Andrew Beebe is modern-day soothsayer, predicting trends, betting on cutting-edge technologies like flying electric taxis, and reimagining trillion-dollar businesses.  Despite the risky nature of his business, of one thing he’s certain: The Decarbonization Economy will provide massive growth opportunities for decades to come.

Sustainable U.S. Cities of 2021: Vanguards of Hope

These three cities illustrate how to keep greening, even in the most trying of times.

With all of the controversy of the past year, it’s easy to believe that cities haven’t been able to focus much on sustainability efforts. But several municipalities forged ahead, and laid the groundwork for others to build upon as they resume green thinking in 2021. 

HVAC Giant Gives Back With Purpose

Lennox embarks on another year of its popular charitable program, Feel the Love, in a time when corporate social responsibility, particularly for millennials, is more important than ever. 

HVAC manufacturer and distributor Lennox has a long history of giving back to the communities it serves. One program, in particular, illustrates the company’s charitable tendencies. Feel The Love (formerly Heat UP) was started in Wisconsin by Dave Chatmon, Manager, District Sales, who suggested a program to his dealer network that local communities could nominate an “unsung hero,” Lennox would donate furnaces, and the dealers would install them for free. 

What Goes Into Choosing Appliances for a Sustainable House?

Whirlpool was given a blank canvas to create an epic kitchen for the VISION House Seattle Cascades. Watch this video to learn the most important appliance features for green homes.

The VISION House Seattle Cascades comes to life as spring descends on its off-grid mountaintop site in Washington. Owner and building scientist C.R. Herro is focusing his efforts on nailing down the details of the interior, particularly the specs for his super-functional kitchen. 

AEC Collaboration: Crucial Step for the Building Industry

The key to becoming a bigger, better construction industry is collaboration on all levels.

Studies show that over the last 50 years, the building industry has lagged behind others in terms of increased efficiency and effectiveness. Why? A lack of collaboration among the various sectors of the industry.

Sustainability Symposium 2021: Into the Light

COVID, along with unbridled social unrest, historic wildfires, and devastating superstorms, rocked us to our core in 2020. With a vaccine around the corner, light is appearing at the end of the tunnel, but there is no going back to how we used to live before the pandemic. What will change, and do we have the courage to #BuildBackBetter?

Consumers are certainly making different lifestyle choices due to the pandemic, taking better care of themselves by cooking and exercising more, paying more attention to their indoor air quality, and spending more time outdoors.  COVID may prove to be a turning point for adopting healthier habits, but, simply put, that’s not enough.

Salt Lake City First to Adopt Off-Site Construction Standards

The new off-site construction standards give Salt Lake City builders a map for the greater use of modular homes and other off-site construction options.

Salt Lake City adopted the new standards for the effective use of off-site construction: ICC/MBI Standard 1200: Standard for Off-Site Construction: Planning, Design, Fabrication, and Assembly and ICC/MBI Standard 1205: Standard for Off-Site Construction: Inspection and Regulatory Compliance. 

Home Sales Expected to Remain Strong in 2021

The housing market is projected to continue its growth trajectory throughout 2021 and 2022.

Intelligence harvested by COGNITION Smart Data shows that the housing market’s expansion is expected to continue well into the foreseeable future.

Consumers Switch Diets to Combat Climate Change

According to COGNITION Smart Data, consumers are making different dietary choices reduce their environmental impact.

Gene Myers: Fearless Leader

Gene Myers and Thrive Home Builders raise the bar on high-performance housing by “just doing the right thing” and, in the process, earned our Sustainability Superhero award.

Ask Gene Myers about what makes him a sustainability superhero, and you’ll notice right away that he doesn’t brag about his accomplishments. He doesn’t need to. 

From Net Zero Energy to Zero Carbon

Getting to net zero energy is paramount if we’re going to reach our climate goals, but the hard, cold truth is that it isn’t enough. It’s time to explore the next frontier of climate action— embodied carbon.

A disheartening report issued by the United Nations last week delivered jarring news: we’re not even close to meeting our Paris Agreement climate goals.

The Healthy Indoor Environment

As people spend more time in their homes, thoughts turn to indoor air and water quality.

Covid-19 could be on the wane, but the importance of healthy homes is a concept that is here to stay, which begs the question: How safe are houses, and how can they be made safer?

Creating the Best Home Office

With more people than ever are shifting to full-time, in-house work, many household office designs need rethinking.

Once upon a time — about 35 years ago — working from home was considered the way of the future. Telecommuting was where everyone was headed; labor marketing experts predicted that driving to work was going to be obsolete by the end of the century. And this was before a little thing called the internet came along.

EPA Approves IAPMO to Certify Soil-Moisture-Based Irrigation Controllers

WaterSense-labeled soil-based irrigation controllers save water and promote healthier plants.

IAPMO R&T, a third-party testing and certification body for plumbing, mechanical and water treatment products, has been transitionally approved and licensed to certify soil moisture-based irrigation controllers (also known as soil moisture sensors or SMSs) to EPA’s WaterSense spec.

Radiant Floors Provide Indoor Air Quality Benefits

Radiant floors bring energy-efficient, low-maintenance comfort to homes while promoting a cleaner indoor environment. 

When the global pandemic forced lockdowns across the country and many employees were mandated to work from home, it brought a new focus to the need for sustainability and indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in structures. This trend is bringing energy-efficient solutions, such as radiant floor heating, along with renewable energy sources, such as geothermal and solar, to the forefront.

Design for Uncertain Times

Our cutting-edge whole-house remodel, The Forever House, takes into account extreme heat, pandemic prep, and stay-at-home priorities.

Design matters. To put this in perspective, you might look no further than the daily temperature readings in Scottsdale, Ariz. Averages keep breaking records. Last year, for example, the region had 14 days where temperatures went above 115 degrees F and another 312 days where it hovered above 95 degrees F. Climate Change has never seemed so real.

Green Builder Innovation of the Year Awards 2021: Follow the Sun

This year’s greenest ideas bring us closer to harnessing the true potential of solar energy.

Samantha Carlin is co-author of this article.

It’s time again to honor an elite group of manufacturers and products that are making real progress in reducing the impact of construction upon our natural environment. They range from super-efficient solar energy management and heating equipment, to one-of-a-kind recycling projects and an indoor greenhouse. 

Products like these—along with help from a new, forward-thinking administration — will continue to steer us toward more sustainable lifestyles. 

Here’s a look at this year’s winners.

Housing Transformation is Here!

The housing sector is undergoing massive disruption, expedited by changing consumer demand, exacerbated by the climate emergency, and facilitated by advancements in enabling technologies. How can building professionals, manufacturers, and homeowners prepare themselves for the paradigm shift?

Changes are afoot in the housing sector. Shifts in consumer expectations are placing new demands on building professionals and manufacturers, accelerating the transition to next-generation solutions. 

Green Building Products

According to COGNITION Smart Data, building professionals are as optimistic as ever about advances in and access to green building products.

A recent COGNITION Smart Data survey of progressive U.S. builders reveals that these professionals are pleased with the accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and performance of sustainable products.

Broken Record Still Skipping

Lumber prices are high. Shouldn’t that spark innovation instead of hand-wringing?

Those of us who have been around long enough to remember the gasoline prices at the pump prior to the Arab oil embargo of the early 1970s may also recall that while there were many folks at the time who wrung their hands and sang sad tunes in response to the rude new reality, there were also many who searched for ways to offset the increased costs by coming up with alternatives to the gas guzzlers we had all become addicted to when we believed that petroleum products would be forever cheap.

A Sustained Housing Surge

The housing market is proving to be a bright spot in the economy—at least for now. Housing sales are strong, inventory is limited, prices are stable, and mortgage rates remain low.

Somehow, while businesses large and small have perished in this COVID-19 crazy world, the home sales and construction industries have managed to survive. But how much longer before they also have to pay the piper?

Above and Beyond Solar Standards

JinkoSolar’s panels help to push the boundaries of sustainable living.

When it comes to living sustainably, one of the biggest concerns is how to generate electricity and which energy sources or systems to use. Solar power continues to increase in popularity because it is simple to understand, can be installed in most locations, and often can pay for itself in a matter of years. 

Carrier Goes Direct to Consumers

HVAC company now sells indoor air quality products directly to consumers on its new website.

Carrier has decided to take its indoor air quality products directly to consumers with the launch of its new e-commerce website, The highlight of the new site is a new plug-and-use room air purifier that has a high-efficiency filter that can trap more than 99 percent of airborne particles down to 0.3 micron size in diameter, including pollen, dander, and dust.

Zero Energy Units: 30,000 On the Boards

TEAM ZERO inventory of net zero units shows the growth of net-zero units and the momentum of the all-electric home.

The recently released TEAM ZERO 2019-2020 Zero Energy Residential Buildings Inventory shows the growth of the residential Zero Energy (ZE) market. Of note, overall energy performance and multifamily units show significant increases. 

Redefining Home Insulation for Consumers and the Planet

Greenfiber brings what’s behind the walls to the forefront of sustainable living.

When Tiana and Shannon Harris bought their dated home in Austin, they knew they had to address energy performance issues. “The utility bills were high. The HVAC was old. And, honestly, we didn’t really know where to start,” says Tiana.

What Is Smart Home Technology?

In the present world, there should be no denying that people will need to be environmentally friendly as a species. Going green and utilizing sustainable things is great for the environment, and it may help ensure the wellbeing of Earth. Many men and women care about the environment and would like to do their job to make matters better.

Smart houses are amazingly the latest frontier for green living. Throughout the past couple of decades, a lot of individuals have equated smart houses with technological elegance and relaxation. This is changing quickly, people begin beating the ways which you may create your smart house more sustainable.

One of the very best ways which you could accomplish so is by considering a number of the distinct smart home products which are available now. Let us take a look at a few of the ways an intelligent house can be ecofriendly.

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