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The green(er) home of tomorrow

April 12th, 2013 by John Kirchner

Chances are few builders actually identify themselves as “green builders,” but given the way energy efficient solutions have flooded the marketplace, it seems every builder is  building greener homes these days — intentionally or not. Call it circumstantial expertise or specialty by default.

Building, in general, is bustling with exciting new “green” products and materials. Because of these breakthroughs, the average new home is anything but average. In fact, by yesteryear’s standards, today’s homes are really quite green. That kind of progress is one of the great storylines in the industry right now.

Cormac Reynolds of Greener Ideal recently wrote about the five tech innovations we can expect to see in the green home of tomorrow. (In other words, it’s only a matter of time before these green innovations become status quo.) Here’s what Reynolds envisions:

Energy
“The increasing efficiency of green technologies means that the homes of the future will be self-reliant and manage to store the energy required to power them and all inside via a mixture of solar power and fuel cells. Batteries will store unused power for other times and anything extra will then be sent back to the grid.”

Appliances
“We’ve seen a significant drop in the amount of energy most appliances consumer and in the future this will be set to continue. Homes and the electrical appliances that reside within them will be ever greener and use increasingly less electricity. This will mean that even today’s energy efficient items will look like energy guzzlers when they are compared to the new ones in homes in the next decade or so.”

Insulation
“So much of the heat consumption of a home depends on the insulation and the amount of it. In the future we can expect insulation to become more efficient, smaller and obviously more effective. Cavity wall insulation will begin to change the way we keep our homes warm and prevent heat escaping from them. This will boost home’s energy ratings and makes sure that there is else and less power used in the home.”

Affordability
“Many of the future technologies we use are available now, but they just cost too much for us to actually implement. We will most certainly see a rise in the number of heat pumps used in homes in the coming years. These pumps exist currently but they do cost money to implement. Essentially, these will take advantage of the constant earth’s temperature to heat water underground and bring it to the surface as warm water.”

Biomorphic Skins
“This seems like one from the far flung future; however biomorphic skins are here, now. This technology reacts to the day outside and will insulate and absorb the heat on warm days. It will also turn tinted to prevent too much light. On darker days it will turn clear and release some of the heat it has stored. The walls also capture rain and this can then be used for interior needs on dry days. It’s a truly innovative concept that we may soon come to reality.”



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