GREEN PREDICTIONS FOR 2010 AND BEYOND

Posted By on May 21, 2010

Energy management, home energy labeling, water sense systems, carbon footprint / credits and the goal of net zero energy homes will certainly emerge as a top housing trend this year and eventually a standard practice.

Thanks in part to government investment into energy conserving programs as well as the building industry’s optimism on the housing recovery a rush to build energy-efficient, healthy and environmentally sustainable homes is now in full gear. The Earth Advantage Institute has predicted the following 10 trends in all types of construction:

1. As utility providers continue to develop smart grid systems, the need for homeowners to be able to track their usage will become increasingly important. The use of “dashboards” or panels that are web based will soon replace the traditional thermostat.

2. Energy labeling may soon become a mandated by energy agencies and or municipalities. An example of such would be an Energy Star Home that has been registered with the EPA. Some predict these labels will be made available on the MLS a widely used method to shop for homes. Should this become a reality it will certainly incentivize the owner to do home energy audits and updates. Someone that already has this labeling will have a re sale advantage over a non energy labeled home.

3. Specialized building information modeling will continue to increase. These specialized software programs will allow builders more accurately see the buildings performance then design the most cost savings plan around that information.

4. Mortgage and insurance companies see the benefits of green building and now offer specialized loans and are considered a lower risk. Both reduce the cost of ownership.

5. Oversized homes are out; smaller “rightsized” homes are in, reflecting a consumer’s change from bigger is better to more practical use of space. But more importantly a switch to energy efficiency is being driven by the desire to conserve monthly cost.

6. More cities are encouraging the formal development of “eco-districts” – which allows walkable, low impact communities that provide built in access to all the major homeowner necessities. Look for this movement to extend out into the suburbs as more demand reaches planners and developers.

7. Water conservation will become more important as more use restrictions are put in place on publicly supplied water supplies. The EPA has recently launched a new water conservation label known as the “WaterSense” program. To obtain this designation the builder must demonstrate a 20% reduction in water consumption.

8. Reducing carbon emissions will come into sharper focus this year as both manufacturers and builders seek to reduce the carbon footprint in both products used and home design. Look for more intense engineering on products used in construction as manufactures look to maximize the product lifecycle. Federal and state building authorities are developing carbon offset policies and carbon credit strategies which will be certain to increase demand on renewable energy sources.

9. Net zero homes and other buildings will gain momentum. Net zero energy projects are proliferating around the country as homeowners learn about the cost effectiveness of homes designed and built to use very little energy and to self generate their energy from renewable onsite sources. Look for more state challenges to build net zero homes.

10. As demand for green-built homes continues to ramp up look for sustainable green building education to make its way across every profession involved in residential design, construction, financing, insuring and sale as buyers continue to drive demand for green-built homes. Opportunities for education are being provided by an ever-expanding field of organizations. The most recognized being the LEED program Through The US Green Building Council.

Three of the trends above are especially important because they will help change homeowner behavior: Home energy labeling, real-time home energy dashboards, and new lower rate financial and insurance packages for green homeowners. For additional information on green-built homes visit www.potterhillhomes.com Click on can green really save located on the bottom of our home page.

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About the author

Carolyn Rolfes is the President of Potterhill Homes. And she's also a Rolfes - as in daughter of Dan Rolfes, the infamous Red Tag Man of Holiday Homes. So what does that say about Carolyn and who she is? Plenty. When you grow up the daughter of man who does commercials in his red underwear, you have no choice but to have a great sense of humor and humility from a very young age. Carolyn and Dan founded Potterhill Homes in 2001 and she has grown it to be one of the most successful home builders in Cincinnati. Home building is in her blood and she has a keen awareness of what consumers look for in a new home and how to deliver value at all levels. And while we don't make Carolyn dress up in green underwear for our commercials, we bet she would if we asked!

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About Potterhill Homes

Cincinnati-based Potterhill Homes is a premier builder of affordable, environmentally friendly homes in Greater Cincinnati. Our homes are built with traditional Cincinnati architectural styles and are perfect for both urban infill and suburban development. To learn more about Potterhill Homes,visit www.potterhillhomes.com.


About the authors

Carolyn Rolfes is the President of Potterhill Homes. And she's also a Rolfes - as in daughter of Dan Rolfes, the infamous Red Tag Man of Holiday Homes. So what does that say about Carolyn and who she is? Plenty. When you grow up the daughter of man who does commercials in his red underwear, you have no choice but to have a great sense of humor and humility from a very young age. Carolyn and Dan founded Potterhill Homes in 2001 and she has grown it to be one of the most successful home builders in Cincinnati. Home building is in her blood and she has a keen awareness of what consumers look for in a new home and how to deliver value at all levels. And while we don't make Carolyn dress up in green underwear for our commercials, we bet she would if we asked!