The property sector is the latest industry to tackle eco-friendliness. Across the globe, green is the new black. Sustainable homes are on the rise, eco-friendly interior design is in and homeowners are spending more to make their homes sustainable.
In a recent survey by Porch, 34 percent of homeowners that have remodeled in the last year, have made changes to make their homes more environmentally friendly. In the construction and real estate industry, the property sector is embracing eco-friendliness- whether it is in exploring green construction materials or promoting the selling point of a green home.
The Benefits of Sustainability for Properties
For the homeowner, the benefits of an eco-friendly home go beyond saving the planet’s future. According to the EPA, the use of sustainable materials and appliances can reduce energy costs by as much as 22 percent. Properties with sustainability upgrades also benefit from a bump in property values. Research has shown that sustainable homes price 3.46 percent higher than non-environmentally friendly homes. In the long run, they are cheaper to maintain and operate as well. This benefit extends to both residential and commercial properties – particularly since operational and maintenance costs can account for up to 80 percent of a building’s lifetime costs.
More Contractors Are Offering Eco-Friendly Construction/Renovations
As more consumers move towards sustainable renovations, contractors have capitalized on the growing demand for eco-friendly construction. According to a report by Ernst & Young, offering homebuyers and corporations eco-friendly features such as rooftop solar panels, improved insulation, and smart home technology is attractive in the eyes of both consumers and investors. As a result, more contractors are now offering eco-friendly construction materials. A good example is Bark House, which will help homeowners design their interior wall paneling or shingles from tree barks. The company also helps to create furniture for your home, giving you the option for full house remodels or smaller sustainable changes.
Tech And Construction Companies Amp Up Their Focus On Sustainable Materials
Larger companies like Integrated Environmental Solution have also amped up the focus on net-zero buildings by introducing energy modeling software platforms. Elsewhere, Solartube has introduced Optiview Shaping Diffusers and Tubular Daylight Devices (TDD), which tackles the issue of maximizing natural lighting in buildings. Artificial lighting has been linked to a significant percentage of energy consumption in a home. For homeowners looking to model a sustainable property, self-managed eco-technologies like smart thermostats and smart showerheads can be effective and easy to install.
The range of eco-friendly building materials is also increasing by the day. SageGlass, a smart glass that is coated with a metal oxide film, can adjust its tinting abilities automatically by tracking the Sun. In eco-friendly construction, building designers are turning to biophilic design and vernacular architecture, which focuses on using materials within reach of the worksite. It is hoped that this approach will reduce transportation emissions.
Government-Backed Incentives For Green Home Upgrades Extended
In the U.S. there are several federal financial incentives and grants for homeowners who chose to make eco-friendly changes. One of those incentives was the Federal Tax Credit for Energy Efficiency which was recently extended retrospectively to December 31, 2021. Builders of energy-efficient homes will also benefit from an extension to the end of 2021. The scheme includes an Equipment Tax Credit For Primary Residences which provides 10 percent of the cost up to $500 or a specific amount between $50 and $300. Energy Efficiency upgrades including insulation and Energy Star windows/doors also qualify for a 10 percent tax credit.
More Developers Are Prioritizing Eco-Conscious Features For Buyers
In some countries like the UK, developers are being offered incentives to build eco-friendly homes. In North America, developers are quickly recognizing the increasing demand for sustainable homes- even from renters. This trend is particularly noticeable in the younger generation of renters. According to Max Sharkansky of Trion Properties, young renters want to see eco-friendly features like recycling services, electric car charging stations, and energy-efficient appliances. Many landlords are also finding ways to make their rental properties green as well.
Developers can now see the bright side of spending a bit more on their properties to include sustainable features. In fact, many of them are using it as a selling point to attract buyers and renters. Benefits like better energy efficiency and lower long-term maintenance costs outweigh the initial investments needed for features like rooftop solar panels or added insulation.
This is just the beginning as well. PropTech, the event led by Round Hill ventures, recently discussed energy efficiency and the question of who will lead the investment needed to reduce the carbon footprint. The discussion is expected to continue for years to come. The property sector as we know it will continue to be transformed in coming years as sustainability takes a front seat on our agendas.