Energy Star Homes – From Hobbits to Magic

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Environmental Trends in Housing with Energy Star Homes

My ten year old son has fairly recently fallen in love with Lord of the Rings Lego. There’s something miraculous about developing and also producing that seems to shoot the human imagination, and there is something precious about the life of a hobbit that’s drawn followers to Tolkien’s stories from around the earth. Perhaps it is the middle earth landscape, or perhaps the less complicated lifestyle. Whatever it’s, my son is hooked, and honestly, I’m enjoying it also.

There’s a small amount of Magic

As an Engineer, I spend a great deal of my day job helping developers and builders to build better quality structures and more effective homes. They’re not hobbit homes of course, but there’s something motivating and original about the numerous different ways we are able to live and shelter ourselves.

I have the freedom to become a part of Ontario’s Home Sweet Home Competition, exactly where I get to find out several of the current trends in environmentally sensitive housing design. It’s a joy to watch. Seeing the innovation brings a sensation of excitement for the boy engineer in me.

Paint is Changing

The housing market is changing, and terms like “energy” and “environment” now are with the daily discourse. The Energy Star program will help us compare electricity costs. Home builders now commonly use paints with small or no VOC content (Volatile Organic Compounds), and all the big-box retailers offer these paints to the public as well. This change has happened in just the last 10 years.

Insulation is Better

Insulation is consistently getting better performing and at a reduced price tag. Building codes are constantly insisting on more and more energy cost savings and use of products that are increasingly environmentally benign (eg: improved coolants in air conditioners). This all implies that new houses are getting hotter and far more comfortable than ever before, in addition to this is clearly a wonderful thing.

Technology Improvements

And a growing number of houses have fancy boxes in them that hum along quietly conserving power for us, from Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRV’s) to heat pumps to tankless as well as condensing water heaters, and much more.

The Future Looks Bright for Energy Saving Homes

And so where is all this headed over the following ten years? And what can housing are like later on? Well it won’t be Hobbiton, however, I love the trends I’m discovering.

builders and Developers around Ontario are increasingly adapting to green building programs. Many municipalities are highly encouraging that builders certify the homes of theirs as ENERGY STAR®, LEED®, or maybe BUILT GREEN® buildings.

It is Easier than You Think

These programs are all great, together with the ideas behind them are rather simpler than they sometimes sound. The label simply proves that the building is constructed better – longer lasting, much more efficient, far healthier for the people to live in… nothing magic, just better. And all for a reasonable cost (which is perhaps the real key). Count on to find out even more of this in the future, but not radically more. Green plans are going to continue to establish apart top builders, but many buyers still buy for location, thus we will not likely find an unexpected demand that any new home be labelled green.

Less Expensive Too

Saving electrical power in your home is steadily becoming less costly. The trend will continue. Comparing energy costs are going to become increasingly common. Count on to see a lot more insulation, and much more types of it – everything from recycled denim to fibreglass to spray foam. And just for Blower Door by sustainableinteriyours.com , the unexpected straw bale home. So long as it truly does work (and it all does), subsequently the property owners will take pleasure in the upsides of lower energy costs. We will see more solar power panels as well, but insulation is the peaceful king.

Water Efficiency is Next

One particular substantial pattern that’s silently emerging is water efficiency. The Region of other municipalities and Waterloo along the Grand River are always talking about how to ensure we have enough drinking water for our growing population. The most high priced proposal on the table is pipeline project which is projected to cost more than one dolars billion. Nevertheless, the best idea on the table is to heavily promote water conservation.

This affects housing too. Look at this particular list:

Powerful Toilets
Productive Showerheads
Rainwater use
Greywater use
Even recycling rain or perhaps shower water to do things like flush toilets
Both New and Renovated Homes are able to Save

My favourite trends would be the ones that both brand new housing the renovation industry have access as well. For instance, RenewABILITY is a neighborhood Kitchener based company that is going to be Canadian leader in Drain Water Heat Recovery. This technology could easily be included with any home plus tends to make a genuine difference… and it is dirt simple. Certainly no moving parts. Absolutely no maintenance. It merely works.

What Happens on the Energy inside your Shower?

Ever think about what happens on the energy in your bathtub? When you heat up the water merely to pour it over yourself and down the drain? This maintenance free product replaces part of the drain and can take several of the heating back from the water before it leaves your home. Every home needs to have it. Just click here to try it out.


Almost all of the very best ideas are like that: taking heat back before you shed it, and recycling. Remember the 3R’s from grade school? Reduce – Reuse – Recycle: this increasingly goes for housing, energy, and water too.

We may not all find impressive dreaming about Hobbit houses, although we can all enjoy electrical power as well as water efficiency, and if today’s trends are any signal of the future, next we’ve much to look forward to.

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