Sustainability isn’t just the latest buzzword. It’s a grassroots movement and calls to decrease our negative environmental impacts. Consumers practice and call for sustainability in a variety of ways – ranging from eco-conscious food and product packaging to electric vehicles.
Sustainable homes are one of the latest and most promising ways to reduce dependency on non-renewable means, decrease carbon emissions, decrease pollution, and more. Let’s take a deep dive into why sustainability is a significant concern among US homes in 2021.
Benefits of Sustainable Homes
There are many benefits to sustainable homes, especially for homeowners. Some of the top benefits include:
Decreased Environmental Impact –
The number one benefit of sustainable homes is that they have a reduced carbon footprint. Homeowners can rest easy knowing that they’re doing their part to make the planet a safer place to live.
Lower Operational Costs and Reduced Maintenance –
According to the EPA, using green materials, appliances, and techniques can reduce energy consumption by 33% and drop costs by as much as 22%. These sustainable materials and methods tend to be more durable and long-lasting, too, leading to reduced maintenance down the road.
Increase Property Value –
Sustainable homes are on-trend. Making the swap to a greener home is a surefire way to increase property value and boost home equity. In fact, sustainable homes have a 3.46% higher price tag than their non-green alternative. On average, that works out to around $10,343 to $53,000 more valuable on average.
What makes a home sustainable? What are some of the sustainable home trends as we move into 2021?
Sustainable Home Trends
The following four sustainable home trends are what experts like Houston Home Remodeling Pros expect to see a lot more of in 2021.
Many homeowners have swapped their traditional energy for solar energy, a.k.a. energy via the sun. In fact, 16.1 million Americans now power their home with solar energy. Solar-powered homes either run with PV solar panels or via solar shingles.
Generally, people have solar panels installed on their roofs, which covert the sun’s rays into usable electricity. Solar panels present an array of benefits, including an increased property value of up to 7.7% on average. Homeowners with solar panels also tend to earn money (around 154% of their initial solar investment).
The reason this sustainable trend is expected to hit a fever pitch in 2021 is because of the Federal ITC credit. The federal government offered a 26% tax credit for anyone who installed solar panels. This amount has dropped annually, and 2021 is the last year to take advantage. So, in 2021, more people will be jumping on the solar bandwagon in hopes of cashing in on the Federal ITC tax credit.
Eco-Friendly Building Materials
An increasing number of homeowners are choosing eco-friendly materials for their homes. They’re opting for materials like precast concrete, reclaimed wood, bamboo, hempcrete, wool insulation, recycled steel, and more.
The number of these eco-friendly building materials is increasing because innovation is finally catching up with demand. Homeowners have been asking for more eco-friendly solutions, and more manufactures are working to meet the call.
John Hale, from Phoenix Roofing Contractors, talked about this trend saying, “Our customers have wanted more sustainable roofing options for a while…Now, they finally have them…Before, sustainable meant lower-quality and higher maintenance, but that’s not the case anymore.”
He’s right. The eco-friendly options of the past used to be pretty terrible for long term upkeep and maintenance. However, in 2021, material engineers and manufacturers have learned how to merge eco-friendly with low maintenance.
Energy Efficient HVAC Systems
HVAC systems are notorious for consuming large amounts of a home’s electricity. These days though, consumers have become more aware of energy-efficient HVAC systems and expect them to be a part of their sustainable home.
This trend towards sustainable appliances extends beyond the HVAC system. Consumers know to look for Energy Star-rated appliances and scrutinize energy usage.
Beyond that, federal, state, and local governments offer various rebates and incentives for choosing energy-saving appliances like an energy-efficient HVAC system, leading to more homeowners adding them to their sustainable homes in 2021.
Systematic Water Conservation Measures
Freshwater supply and drought concerns have many homeowners looking to include more systematic water conservation measures in their sustainable homes. There are several ways to do this, but some of the most popular means include:
Low-flow toilets, sinks, and showerheads
Installing water management strategies
Including rainwater catching systems
Installing green roofs with class 4 shingles
Ultimately, homeowners are looking for ways to prepare for drought, provide clean drinking water in the case of faulty pipe issues, and solve for flooding, too. These measures are just a few that are taking the sustainability movement by storm.
Final Thoughts on Sustainability in US Homes in 2021
Sustainability is a major trend for US homes in 2021 for a number of reasons. For one, we’re growing more eco-conscious as a culture as we work towards reducing our carbon emissions and slowing down climate change. Choosing to have a green home is one way we can decrease our personal carbon footprint and fight climate change and pollution.
However, sustainable homes also present monetary and maintenance advantages too. In the case of solar panels and energy-efficient appliances, homeowners can expect to save (or even earn) money by having a more sustainable home.
Other times, things like drought and depleting resources cause the move towards more sustainability, like with systematic water conservation measures.
Regardless of the reasons “why,” it is evident that sustainability is a major concern for homeowners in the US in 2021. The industry can take advantage of this trend by providing solutions to meet the demand. Doing so will bring contractors and builders more business, and it will result in many benefits to the homeowner as well.
So. why sustainability is a major concern among US homeowners in 2021? The short answer is because people are growing more eco-aware, and they’re demanding manufacturers to innovate and governments to provide incentives. In 2021, both have answered the demand.