Top Green Building Trends

With all eyes on the future of the planet, it's good to know that science is making all kinds of advances to make our world a little greener. One of the most exciting areas of eco-friendly development is the construction industry: There are lots of great new ways to reduce your carbon footprint while building or remodeling your home.
Megan Ray Nichols
Published on: 7th April 2016
Take a look at some of these top choices for green construction methods. Any one of these will make your building project more eco-friendly - invest in several, and you’ll be doing the Earth a big favor!

Green Building Trends
Xeriscaping is a fancy word for designing your landscape to thrive in your local conditions. It’s especially important in California and the Southwest, where ongoing drought is a serious issue.

Instead of wasting precious water on trying to keep a lawn green, consider adding a decorative garden of native plants and shrubs instead. Even if you keep a small section of lawn for playing, you’ll cut back on the amount of harmful fertilizers and water you need to use to keep your garden looking good.
Green Building Trends
Green Roofs
Though homeowners may not have enough space to put a garden on their roof, commercial buildings and apartment complexes are being designed with green roofs in mind. Green roofs incorporate large planting beds and drainage systems to create a landscape on top of buildings instead of on the ground around them.

The best ones do more than just provide a shady place to relax. Green roof benefits include reducing urban “heat island” temperatures in the summer, improving city air quality, and absorbing storm water to minimize the potential for flash flooding.
Green Building Trends
Efficient Construction Equipment
Contractors, craftspeople, and other construction professionals realize that the public’s interest in green building practices is only continuing to grow; they are investing in greener construction equipment. This means saying goodbye to loud, smoky diesel equipment and embracing newer models. Machinery and construction vehicles that run on hybrid technology save money on fuel because they have a 50% greater fuel efficiency. This cuts down the use of fossil fuels in building projects, reducing their overall carbon footprint.
Green Building Trends
Energy Efficient Windows
Improving the seal around your home to keep out the winter cold (or the summer heat, depending on where you live), you are making your house a greener one; you’ll consumer less energy to control your home’s temperature, which means lower bills and a reduction in your use of fossil fuels or power plants that use them on your behalf.

Replacing old windows with double-pane windows is one of the best investments you can make to improve your home’s overall efficiency - and you can even get tax credits or local subsidies to help pay for them.
Green Building Trends
Heat Pump Systems
Instead of installing separate (and energy-hogging) heating and cooling systems, getting a heat pump can be an efficient solution. These systems work by removing heat from a cold space and transferring it elsewhere — and you can just reverse this process in the summer. Heat pumps can be used for water heaters, in geothermal systems and in combination with radiant floor heat, so they’re a versatile way to cut your energy usage and costs.

If you’re thinking about your next renovation project, be sure to ask your builder about all of their green options. The number of these green building trends you can incorporate into your home just might surprise you! You could save on utility costs in the long run, and - best of all - you’ll be doing your part to make sure the Earth stays healthy and green for generations to come.
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