More than ever, the construction industry is looking to incorporate more environmentally-friendly practices into their projects. Climate change also presents a real issue that they seek to address. To provide a stronger, better home, here are some of the steps contractors are taking:
Without the right precautions, houses can quickly be condemned due to natural disasters. In the last year alone, multiple Category 5 hurricanes caused millions of dollars of damages. Communities are still recovering from the effects of Harvey, Irma, and Maria, despite the fact that those hurricanes happened over half a year ago.
In hopes of preventing such a dire aftermath in the future, builders are incorporating infrastructures designed to withstand or adapt to natural disasters. These infrastructures include elevated building designs, storm and water-resistant materials, and wind-resistant roof designs. Rebuilding is expensive, especially for coastal and island communities that regularly face damaging weather.. With sustainability and resilience in mind, these communities will have much greater success in withstanding potentially devastating effects.
Renewable energy methods continue to increase in popularity, especially as these options become more widely available and more affordable. Homebuyers are opting towards rainwater collection systems, in-home purification systems, renewable energy sources like solar panels, as well as living walls and green roofs (walls and roofs covered in plants to increase plant habitation). Not only are these features healthier for the earth, but they also have the economic and social benefits of reducing utility costs and increasing property values.
Tankless water heaters are also increasing in popularity – they provide hot water only as it is needed and come in both gas-fired and electric models. These tankless units provide hot water only when the faucet is turned on, offer a continuous supply of hot water, and save families at least $100 per year in water bills.
The concept of storing energy from renewable sources is beginning to enter the residential housing sector, and are proven to help in times of natural disasters and power outages. Rather than depending on electric companies to restore power, households will be able to rely on themselves and avoid going powerless for days (or even weeks) at a time.
Wider Doorways and Hallways
As the age of retirement continues to increase, adults are also choosing to live in their own homes for longer than past generations. However, old age often leads to lifestyle changes, which sometimes includes the use of wheelchairs and scooters. In an effort to plan for a more comfortable future, contractors are including wider doorways and hallways in their designs to allow for a smoother transition to the possible lifestyle changes that come with aging.