The past year has brought on many eco-conscious home innovations, some of which you may consider adapting when purchasing or innovating your own living environment.
The ability to build in modules, or components, saves construction time and cost. They can be more easily dismantled if the function of the building or site changes, allowing for greater spatial flexibility. Moving partitions within a home also contribute to its modularity, allowing one space to transform into another. Additionally, since modular homes are typically built in factories, acquisition of materials and other resources, and outdoor weather conditions are no longer obstacles to construction schedules. Typically, modular home construction generates less waste than a manufactured home.
There are many more energy monitoring products out in the market now, than ever before. These devices are user-friendly, allowing the home owner to see his/her energy consumption level, and allowing them to play a more pro-active role in lowering regulating energy use. These devices usually include a home automation system which also controls the lighting.
Green roofs serve a large advantage to not only the homeowner, but also to the community as a whole. A green roof helps insulate the home, manages storm water runoff, and reduces the urban heat island effect of the surrounding area.
Efficient water systems
Recycling domestic water and filtering it for outdoor irrigation largely reduces water consumption, emphasizing the advantages of renewable resources. Rainwater collection systems also recycle outdoor rain water for domestic use. Both systems implement a renewable water supply for needed uses.
Photovoltaic panel installations
Though not new to the market, PV panels are still underused and hold large advantages for homeowners. Even greater is the fact that they have transformed from "tacked-on" innovations to integrated components building assemblies. While photovoltaic panels are typically placed atop roofs where they can absorb sunlight and be converted to energy for indoor use, they can be integrated onto the home's façade, creating a more seamless and adaptable aesthetic.
Farah Naz Ahmad was born in New York City and holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the City College of New York. Her career goal is to become a licensed architect. Her past roles as President of American Institute of Architecture Students and as a team leader for the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon have increased her passion for design and sustainability. Farah promotes such concepts as clean energy to educate the future generation. Farah is a LEED Green Associate.