These new features are exciting buyers and inspiring homebuilders:
Thanks to advancements in technology, solar roof panels are more attractive and efficient in storing solar heat and converting it into a viable energy source for the home.
Passive solar design is also becoming more popular. Homeowners and builders are situating homes based on the angles of the sun for maximum exposure, resulting in natural heating and lighting for the home. This kind of solar design and construction helps cut utility costs while not detracting from the home's architectural style.
Skylights with Sensors
Skylights are usually built into your roof, so they're too high to open them manually. Today, thermostatically controlled skylights can automatically open when the home reaches a certain temperature.
Built-in thermostats allow for skylights to open and close based on designated temperatures, thus keeping the home comfortable in an energy efficient manner. By taking advantage of the natural temperature outside, you won't have to rely as much on heating and cooling devices in the home, which contribute to high utility bills.
Sustainable Building Materials
Using sustainable materials in construction helps conserve natural resources and limit your carbon footprint on the environment. Materials such as wood, glass, cork, rubber and plastic can be recycled and reused by companies that turn them into construction materials like flooring, decking, countertops, cabinets and even carpeting.
Like the kitchen flooring seen here, which was made out of a composite mix of cork and different plastics, sustainable materials are low maintenance and long lasting, making them a smart, green choice in home construction.
Wrap-Free Sheathing Systems
Wrap-free systems, like this ZIP System roof and wall sheathing, are an eco-friendly alternative to costly house wrap or felt. After the sheathing system is installed, the siding and roof covering can be installed right on top of the sheathing, protecting the home from moisture.
LED lighting is a creative and energy efficient way to add decorative lighting to any space, indoors and out. LED lights come in an array of colors, so whether you prefer a basic white light or want to spice it up with a touch of red, as seen in this kitchen, LED lights are an easy way to bring a little eco-friendly style into the home.
Not only do parking lifts look awesome, but their purpose is pretty smart, too. Many homeowners are moving closer to pedestrian-friendly urban areas, where there's more density and less space.
Parking lifts are an economical way to use what little space you might have and take parking to new heights. By building up, you don't need to build out, meaning you use less land.
On-Demand Water Heating
Tankless water heaters are one of the best ways to lower your utility bills. They eliminate the need for a storage tank and dramatically increase energy efficiency by only heating water when you need it.
Radiant Heated Flooring
Radiant heating is more efficient than forced-air heating because no energy is lost through ducts, therefore the heat lasts longer. Plus, the lack of circulating air is perfect for those with severe allergies. Hydronic systems, which are liquid-based, use little electricity and can be heated with a variety of energy sources, from gas, oil-fired or wood-fired boilers, and even solar water heaters.
An alternative to a downspout, rain chains collect rainwater that would usually pour out of a downspout or gutter and divert them for other uses. There are systems that filter rainwater and then you can collect them in storage containers, which can be used for tasks like watering flowers and plants.Â Â Â
HVAC Air Filtration Systems
Today's HVAC systems can come with high-tech air filtration and purification systems designed to improve the air quality in your home and the health of your family. An effective HVAC system also maintains healthy air circulation to eliminate mold or mildew growth in the home.