2011’s green homes to be cheaper, smarter, tighter

Posted by Rumin Mann
January 14th, 2011

What will be the top 2011 trends in green building? A non-profit research group expects green homes will become increasingly affordable, smart and energy-efficient — all trends that Green House agrees are likely.

“We believe it’s going to be a promising year for the green building industry,” writes Tom Breunig of the Earth Advantage Institute, a Portland, Ore.-based group that has has certified more than 11,000 eco-friendly homes. A recent report by McGraw-Hill Construction also gives a rosy forecast.

Breunig said his group compiles its annual top 10 trends based on discussions with builders, developers, architects, real estate brokers, appraisers, lenders and homeowners. Last year’s trends focused on water conservation, “rightsizing” of homes and “eco-districts” where people could walk or bike to most services.

This year’s trends include increased recycling of “greywater,” which is waste water from sinks and tubs (but not toilets) and greater use of smart meters as well as appliances that monitor their own energy use. Also expected: more accessory dwelling units or independent backyard cottages that function as rental units, studios, in-law suites or home offices.

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