Energy Star Homes – From Hobbits to Magic

Environmental Trends in Housing with Energy Star Homes

My ten year old son has recently fallen in love with Lord of the Rings Lego. There is something miraculous about creating and also creating which seems to record the human imagination, and there’s something prized about the lifestyle of a hobbit that’s drawn followers to Tolkien’s stories from around the world. Likely it is the middle earth landscape, or possibly the less complicated lifestyle. Whatever it is, my kid is hooked, and frankly, I’m enjoying it also.

There’s a tiny bit of Magic

As an Engineer, I spend much of my day job helping builders and designers to construct better quality buildings and more effective homes. They’re not hobbit houses of course, but there’s something motivating and imaginative about the multitude of different techniques we are able to stay and shelter ourselves.

I have the opportunity to become associated with Ontario’s Home Sweet Home Competition, where I get to see some of the newest trends in eco sensitive housing design. It’s a joy to watch. Seeing the innovation can bring a sense of excitement to the boy engineer in me.

Recommended–> : Carbon Footprint by sustainableinteriyours
Paint is Changing

The housing market is changing, and words as “energy” plus “environment” are currently with the day discourse. The Energy Star program allows us compare utility costs. Home builders today commonly use paints which have low or no VOC content (Volatile Organic Compounds), and all the big-box retailers offer these paints to the public as well. This change has taken place in only the last 10 years.

Insulation is Better

Insulation is consistently getting better performing and at a reduced price. Building codes are constantly insisting on more and more energy financial savings and use of items that are increasingly environmentally benign (eg: improved coolants in air conditioners). All this means that newer houses are getting warmer and far more comfortable than ever before, and this’s naturally a good thing.

Engineering Improvements

And then a lot more houses have elaborate boxes in them that hum along quietly conserving electric power for us, from Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRV’s) to heat pumps to tankless or condensing water heaters, and more.

The Future Looks Bright for Energy Saving Homes

And so where’s everything headed within the next 10 years? And what might housing look like later on? Healthy it won’t be Hobbiton, though I love the trends I’m seeing.

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

It is Easier than You Think

These programs tend to be fantastic, and the strategies behind them are rather simpler than they sometimes sound. The particular label basically demonstrates that the structure is constructed better – longer lasting, far more efficient, better for the passengers to live in… nothing magic, just better. And all for a fair price (which is probably the real key). Expect to find out more of this in the potential future, but not radically more. Green plans will continue to establish apart top builders, but many buyers still invest in for location, so we will not likely notice an unexpected demand that every new house be labelled green.

Less Expensive Too

Saving electrical power in your home is continually getting less costly. The pattern will continue. Comparing energy costs will become more and more common. Expect to see a lot more insulation, and more kinds of it – from recycled denim to fibreglass to spray foam. And for the true Hobbit enthusiasts, the occasional straw bale home. Provided that it works (and it all does), subsequently the house owners will like the advantages of reduced energy costs. We’ll see a lot more solar panels too, but insulation is the peaceful king.

Water Efficiency is Next


A considerable trend that’s silently emerging is water efficiency. The Region of Waterloo and other municipalities along the Grand River are always speaking about the way to ensure we’ve plenty of drinking water for our growing population. One of the most expensive proposition on the table is pipeline project that is projected to cost more than one dolars billion. But, the smartest idea on the table will be to heavily promote water conservation.

This affects housing too. Look at this list:

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

My favourite trends will be the individuals that both new housing the renovation industry have access also. For instance, RenewABILITY is a neighborhood Kitchener based brand name that stands out as the Canadian leader in Drain Water Heat Recovery. This technology might effortlessly be included with almost any room and also tends to make a real difference… and is dirt simple. Certainly no moving parts. Absolutely no maintenance. It merely works.

What Happens to the Energy within your Shower?

Actually look at how things go on the energy in your shower room? When you heat up the water just to put it over yourself and down the drain? This maintenance free product replaces a component of the drain and can take some of the heating back from the water before it actually leaves the home of yours. Every home should have it. Simply click here to look it over.

A lot of the very best ideas are like that: taking heat back before you lose it, or recycling. Remember the 3R’s from grade school? Reduce – Reuse – Recycle: this increasingly is true for housing, energy, and water too.

We may not all love dreaming about Hobbit houses, though we are able to all enjoy power as well as water efficiency, and if modern trends are any indicator of the potential future, next we’ve much to look forward to.

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