How We Should Build Sustainable Homes of the Future

Traditionally, the construction industry has lagged behind many others in technological development. However, this is rapidly changing. Beyond digitization and emerging technologies, sustainability is poised to become one of the most significant disruptive forces transforming the construction industry, particularly in housing construction, in this century. The transition to clean energy will lead to the development of green net zero homes, which will actively reduce our carbon footprint.

According to the EEBA, electrification is essential to move towards more decarbonization, and from this will come a new set of expectations for the home of the future. Driving sustainability in home building primarily starts with better understanding of the electricity footprint of new homes.

Heating currently represents a massive share of fossil fuel demand, accounting for nearly 40% of total energy consumed in buildings. The structure of ownership and the lifecycle of a building is fragmented and siloed and full of inefficiencies, making it difficult to seal the envelope for our existing housing stock. But new homes can take advantage of electric heating, better insulation and the overall envelope to retain heat, thus limiting the usage of energy.

Yet another upcoming trend for residential electricity consumption is electric vehicles. New homes will have to be designed with Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure. Typically, two in every five standalone home dwellers who own an EV tend to install a PV system for self-generation. Builders will be expected to consider this a pre-requisite for new net zero homes.

According to the National Association of Homebuilders, homebuyers, especially younger generations who are environmentally aware, are willing to pay more for sustainable features like energy-efficient appliances. This is good news for the industry because sustainable buildings are cheaper to operate – they use less energy, less water, and also building owners report that sustainable buildings and smart buildings have a higher asset value close to 7% to 10% of traditional buildings. The market opportunity is already clearly defined.

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