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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 has decided to take its indoor air quality products directly to consumers with the launch of its new e-commerce website, CarrierAtHome.com. 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.
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.
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.
Consumer interest in indoor air quality (IAQ) hit a new high in 2020. According to COGNITION Smart Data, Green Builder Media’s market intelligence division, 92 percent of early adopter and first mover homeowners believe that good IAQ is extremely important or very important, and 85 percent would pay more for healthy home.
The choice of residential metal roofing and other super-durable materials raises the bar on this ultra-modern Texas home.
As many architects can attest, designing a residence for oneself can present challenges. But architect Jack Carson rose to the occasion by creating a striking design for his new home on a ranch in beautiful Hill Country, in Central Texas. Design for the 7,000-square-foot residence follows Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) principles and blends a unique palette of “industrial” materials with ultra-modern aesthetics.
Stand aside, millennials—when it comes to real change, baby boomers tend to take more real steps than younger generations.
People born between 1984 and 2002 — the millennials — have earned the nickname “generation green” for their pro-environmental stance and their occasional digs at the older generations that failed to keep Climate Change in check. But according to a survey by research firm Opinium Research, Baby Boomers are the ones who are most likely to promote and support sustainability.
As homeowners spend more time at home, kitchen remodels are on the rise. The average expenditure on a kitchen remodel was 2.5 times in 2020 compared to 2019. What are homeowners investing in?
In a recent Green Builder Media survey, we asked homeowners how their behavior has changed due to the coronavirus. The number one response? They’re cooking more.
Solar geoengineering, a method of cooling Earth’s atmosphere and reducing the impact of climate change, holds great promise but will only succeed if carbon emissions are kept under control, according to researchers at the California Institute of Technology and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
An increasing number of building manufacturers are getting the word out about their commitment to the environment as they learn it really matters—especially to millennials.
More publicly traded corporations are taking action to improve the environment. They also want people to know about it. According to a study by the Governance & Accountability Institute (G&A), 65 percent of the companies included in the Russell 1000 published sustainability reports in 2019, up from 60 percent in 2018. The finding marked the eighth straight year of increase, the institute notes.
Remote working is no longer a trend precipitated by a pandemic, it’s now a long-term strategy that many businesses are using to cut costs and attract workers.
For the past year, the housing sector has been the bright spot of the economy, and many companies in the industry—manufacturers, building professionals, and service providers alike—are investing in growth and hiring new employees.
The IECC is an important element of national energy policy and a major tool in the nation’s efforts to address climate change. These building codes are incorporated into the laws or regulations of many state and local governments as well as into many federal policies. Because of this, Congress wants to make sure the code process addresses everyone. In the letter, the committee wrote:
Get practical advice on how to save money and cut your carbon footprint while realizing a 15 percent ROI with key high-performance building products. (Plus, get the book it’s based on for free!)
Don’t miss David Green in his new webinar on February 17 at 2 pm EST, based on information from his highly acclaimed book Zero Carbon Home and brought to you by Green Builder Media.
Despite the carnage of 2020, the best in the business did not abandon their vision and craft.
The ongoing pandemic, horrific as it has been, has largely spared the U.S. building industry. For that, we should be grateful but never cocky.
Spending more time than ever at home, it turns out, brings out the nesting instinct in people. Money that might previously have been spent on travel, tourism, or dining out has, for the fortunate, been redirected toward kitchen renovations, deck upgrades, and accessory dwelling units.
Learn how advanced products, spurred by pandemic concerns, are making homes safer and more efficient—and are in red-hot demand by today’s home buyers and remodeling clients.
Two home building categories are getting intense scrutiny by today’s home buyers: health and efficiency. In this new ebook, quickly learn how progressive builders and product manufacturers are leaning on advanced products to make homes safer and more energy- and water-efficient.
Middle-class design combines with present-day craftsmanship to form a “sanctuary.”
Green marketing may attract home buyers, but quality construction is what makes happy homeowners. The occupants of this award-winning, Charis Custom Homes-built house in North Canton, Ohio are so happy with the result, they refer to it as their Sanctuary.
“Disruption happens to all industries. Usually there are two contributing factors: One that necessitates change and another that propels it,” says renowned architect and building science expert Sam Rashkin in the prologue of his new book, A Builder Guide to Surviving Disruption.
These new and emerging technologies may make electrification the greenest way to power up the household.
If we want our societies to achieve net-zero carbon emission status, their many features must require less energy. They must integrate more sources of renewable energy systemically. These are largely the needs of developing smarter homes for ourselves, as well: Cut energy and resource expenditure needs significantly to become more sustainable.
Is this the first step toward turning over building code development to a more objective group?
For more than a decade advocates of energy efficiency—as well as stakeholders responsible for promoting the public good over profit-motivated special interests in the homebuilding industry—have reported a foul odor emanating from the ICC code development process.
Yesterday was a good one for the environment. Only hours after being sworn in, President Biden took demonstrable climate action, recognizing that climate change is the greatest challenge of our generation and the opportunity of a lifetime.
This new sink made with environment-friendly materials gives the farmhouse style a more svelte look.
BOCCHI just rolled out the Forte apron-front sink. This new take on a modern farmhouse style is the result of a two-material combo: fireclay and aluminum.
“We are the first to innovate ceramic by putting metal in it,” says Dawn Robinson, Director of Marketing and Communication at BOCCHI. “We added aluminum deposits into our raw ceramic composition to create super-thin walls that keep their shape with no waviness.”
Join Energy Efficient Codes Coalition’s Bill Fay for a webinar that explores why Congress is getting involved in ICC’s plan to limit IECC development to an ever-shrinking number of stakeholders.
A new $32 million development by AHC Inc. transformed a three-acre parcel of land owned by St. James Methodist Church into a vibrant mixed-income, mixed-use community. The five-story building earned an EarthCraft Multifamily Platinum certification and holds lessons for combining affordability with environmentally smart building practices.
According to COGNITION Smart Data, Green Builder Media’s suite of market intelligence services, interest in healthy homes has mushroomed over the past year as COVID has unveiled the ugly reality that viruses, bacteria, and other undesirable particles are transferrable through the air.
Owners of this new 2,512-square-foot home in Newburgh, N.Y., can rest easy knowing that their home is resistant to hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, tornados, blizzards, mold and bugs. Their monthly electric bill will rarely go above $10 a month. All of this only cost about $10,000 more than a home built to just meet code.
According to COGNITION Smart Data, the solar market soared in 2020.
“Hi, I’d like to cancel my service.”
These seven anticlimactic words in a phone call to our natural gas company marked a momentous achievement for my family—the final black pipe carrying fossil fuels deep from North Dakota Bakken fields into our home has been shut off.
According to COGNITION Smart Data, Green Builder Media’s suite of market intelligence services, builders are accessing more capital, diversifying their portfolios, and expanding their sales capacity by leveraging online tools—all of which are driving the continued success of the housing market.
Driving to Mariposa Meadows is an adventure in and of itself, replete with spectacular views of majestic mountains, rushing rivers, expansive lakes, and horizons as far as the eye can see. On any given day, you may catch sight of one of the many species of local wildlife, including moose, elk, deer, bear, mountain lion, fox, coyote, eagles, and hawks.
It’s nearly inconceivable that a mob of angry protesters was able to forcefully storm the nation’s Capitol. It’s almost impossible to understand how our socio-political unrest could fester to a point where citizens determined that it was acceptable to desecrate the most sacred galleries of our democracy.
Perched high on a mountainside in southwestern Colorado, the Glacier Club Modern Home offered commanding views and incredible challenges for the home builder. Mantell-Hecathorn Builders of Durango, Colo., was up to the challenge, delivering a home that was architecturally stunning and surpassed the builder’s own goals for high performance by winning a Housing Innovation Award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program.
According to COGNITION Smart Data, Green Builder Media’s suite of market intelligence services, the housing market is expected to continue on its growth trajectory in 2021.
No doubt, we’re all ready to see 2020 fade away in the rearview mirror. It was a year of sorrow, tumult, division, and fear—a wrinkle in time that took us to a far, far away alien land.
While consumers have scaled back general living expenses during the pandemic, spending less on discretionary activities like dining out, recreation, and travel, they’re not holding back on investing in home improvement projects.
According to COGNITION Smart Data, more consumers are looking to induction cooking as a healthier alternative to natural gas cooking—and they are enjoying the experience. A recent survey by Sonoma Clean Power found that 90 percent of adopters found it easy to adjust to induction cooking (versus traditional electric or gas).
Once upon a time, Charles Arias thought all the talk about an emerging electric housing market was just that—talk. He says he couldn’t envision a time when people would willingly give up all-too-convenient natural gas water heaters or stoves in favor of electric-powered models that, in his opinion, simply didn’t perform as well.
In the second quarter of this year, Home Depot, according to a presentation by company CEO Craig Menear, reported double-digit customer traffic increases over the previous year, and 23 percent higher spending. Lowes reported similar, record-breaking earnings.
Special interest groups were soundly defeated (by overwhelming vote margins cast by ICC governmental members) in their desperate attempts to stifle proposed improvements for energy performance in the 2021 IECC--and even to roll back existing requirements already on the books.
According to COGNITION Smart Data, Green Builder Media’s market intelligence and data services, demand for touchless faucets has increased by nearly 130 percent in 2020 as consumers seek COVID-friendly solutions for their homes. This shouldn’t be a surprise, given that sink handles contain more than 600 times more microorganisms per square inch than toilet handles.
COVID has taken its toll on buildings. Work-from-home mandates have turned once-bustling office and multiuse complexes and other commercial structures into shuttered shells. Building owners have had to quickly pivot to new best practices to keep their structures safe and well maintained.
One of the things I look for in companies that make green claims is the gap between branding and the actual product’s chemistry and performance. You might call that gap greenwashing. For example, Coca Cola and other plastic bottle users have repeatedly backpedaled on increases in recycled plastic.
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.