Energy Efficiency Sparks New Homebuilding Trends
April 27, 2015 (PRLEAP.COM) Business NewsApril 27, 2015 - Home buyers today are more aware of their carbon footprint than buyers were years ago. Research released by Johnson Controls last year indicates a 116 percent increase in energy efficiency interest worldwide since 2010. This awareness is sparking several trends that can have far-reaching effects.
"Being more energy efficient is extremely important to our home buyers. They're fiscally and environmentally responsible – savvy, sophisticated buyers who want to save money on utility costs while helping to save the planet for their children, grandchildren and beyond," says Anthony Natale, co-founder and president of Grenadier Homes.
Natale says this has created several industry trends, such as the growing popularity of low-maintenance yards that are beautiful, outdoor living spaces requiring minimal upkeep.
"Low-maintenance yards provide energy savings in several ways," notes Natale. "To start with, we suggest using native plants in your landscaping. As the name implies, native plants grow naturally in an area, so you're saving gas because the plants don't have to be grown and transported in from somewhere else. In addition, native plants are often better suited to local weather and soil conditions. Here in Texas, that usually means they're drought-tolerant and require less water."
Natale also recommends separate irrigation systems for grass, flower beds and trees, as well as drought-resistant landscaping systems. These systems can collect and recycle rain water and have moisture and cold sensors to turn off irrigation when the ground is wet from rain or when the temperature drops below freezing. In addition, he suggests incorporating light-emitting diode (LED) lights in the landscaping and inside homes, which further reduces utility costs and increases energy efficiency.
"LED lights are more common than they used to be as retail prices have fallen dramatically in the past few years," Natale states. "Compared with incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, LEDs are designed to last longer and radiate less heat. Plus they emit light in a specific direction, which also makes them more efficient. However, they aren't all made alike. To get the most out of your lighting, look for Energy Star qualified LED light bulbs and fixtures. They have to meet strict EPA quality and efficiency standards."
Another trend that energy efficiency has helped fuel is multigenerational living. According to the 2014 National Association of Realtors Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, multigenerational living is on the rise. Multigenerational household buyers accounted for 14 percent of all home purchases tracked by the study, where multigenerational households were identified as consisting of a combination of adult siblings, adult children, parents and/or grandparents. Cost savings was cited as one of the biggest reasons for multigenerational purchases.
"Multigenerational living can help you save on utilities because you don't have to heat, cool and light as much space, and you can save on travel expenses – and gas – because you don't have to travel to see your family," explains Natale. "If you're interested in multigenerational living, we suggest creating both private and shared spaces to enable everyone to spend great, quality time with each other without giving up their independence. At Grenadier, we offer flex spaces called Casitas that are ideal for this. They feature a private bedroom, bathroom and sitting area, and have both a door to the main home and a separate, private door that opens up to the outside."
All Grenadier homes are Green Built™ Texas-certified and Energy Star®-rated to ensure the highest levels of efficiency. To learn more about Grenadier Green, visit www.grenadierhomes.com/experience-grenadier/grenadier-green. Grenadier Homes designs and builds semi-custom patio homes, town homes, and single family homes throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. It is recognized throughout the industry as a leader in customer satisfaction, workmanship, integrity, innovation and perseverance. Although the company was founded in 1990 by Anthony Natale and John Egnatis, Grenadier Homes can trace its roots back to the 1960s when Natale's father, Nick, built a custom-designed home for the Egnatis family. Natale and Egnatis became neighbors and close friends, frequently playing ice hockey together on Grenadier pond. The build had a major impact on both of them, and later they created Grenadier Homes with that in mind – to make a positive difference in people's lives through homebuilding. For more information, visit www.grenadierhomes.com.