From Dean Dowd on July 30, 2008 in Green Remodeling
Green building itself is transforming, moving beyond simply a trend to a revolution. Some cities, led by Washington D.C., have even begun mandating LEED building standards for certain city structures. Yet these are just first steps and among only a handful of cities. The green revolution is still driven more by the eco-friendly aspirations of businesses and homeowners throughout the country. Now this progressive, grassroots movement has its own trends as architects and designers focus on green innovations and ideas. Here are some of the latest:
- Prefab homes are experiencing their own revolution as the old “double-wide” and “mobile home” preconceptions dissolve amongst a better understanding and quality, eco-friendly developments. Modular homes are leading the comeback due to their relative low cost, minimal waste, and timely construction. Because the lion’s share of the home is built in-factory, it is considerably easier and cheaper to incorporate green materials into production.
- Modular homes are $10 per square foot cheaper to build than their traditional, site-built equivalents. They cost anywhere from 5-25% less to build, depending on your choices for customization.
- In many areas of the United States water is a more valuable commodity than many of us in more temperate climates may realize. This is due largely to a history of wasting water that now stands like a monkey on the back of home after home. In response, more homeowners are turning to water systems that save and recycle usable wastewater and rainwater for irrigation and other household needs.
- Greywater systems can harvest laundry, sink, and shower water for reuse as irrigation water. The benefits of reusing greywater move beyond easing the burden on water supply. They are also beneficial for your lawn or landscape and septic system.
Bamboo, Bamboo, Bamboo
- Bamboo is slowly asserting itself as a leader in green building materials. Actually a type of grass, bamboo is renewable at a much faster rate than traditional hardwoods and comes with all the durability and attractiveness.
- Bamboo is most popular as a more eco-friendly alternative to hardwood flooring. However, bamboo has also become a popular avenue for greening kitchen cabinetry. It has now even been approved as a structural building product and actual bamboo homes are being built in Vietnam and are available throughout the world.
- Solar energy is perhaps the most powerful trend in the green revolution. Led by progressive state and growing federal tax incentives and rebates, solar power is primed to be the United States’ key to energy independence.
- Solar provides a unique opportunity for homeowners to gain their own energy independence. Choose between a grid-tied system, which can pay dividends via net metering, or get off the grid; a popular choice among rural homeowners. Visit CalFinder Solar to learn more about trends in the solar industry and to find a local solar contractor in your area.