5 Sustainable Trends To Include In Your Next Multifamily Project

January 31st, 2020

While it may appear to be the latest trend at first, sustainable construction has slowly developed into the norm. Sustainable construction minimizes waste and maximizes the quality of life for inhabitants. Plus, sustainable structures are proven to save money, and they are in high demand. Whether you utilize Insulated Concrete Forms or smart amenities, there are a number of sustainable practices that you can implement in your next multifamily project.

Glass Recycled Countertops

If you want the look of natural stone without the maintenance needs, then synthetic, recycled surfaces are the best option for multifamily countertops. The glass recycled manufacturing process turns bottles, industrial glass, and porcelain into a sophisticated surface that mimics the pattern of granite and other natural stones. Glass recycled surfaces are scratch-resistant, non-porous, and lighter weight than most materials, which means installation and durability often outperform other options. Glass recycled countertops are priced similarly to Quartz or Granite, which means they are an excellent investment in your multifamily building’s long-term potential.

ICF Construction

If you are building a home from the ground-up, then you should use Insulated Concrete Forms. ICF construction differs from traditional concrete in that ICFs are hollow blocks of foam that are stacked and then filled with rebar and concrete. The multiple layers of foam and concrete provide a double layer of insulation while forming both a moisture and air barrier. As a result, ICF walls are a fundamental element of net zero construction — a sustainable milestone that balances the amount of energy consumed with the amount of renewable energy produced. Various studies have revealed that multifamily homes built with ICF walls are much-more energy efficient. On average, they require 32% less energy to cool and 44% less energy to heat. Overall, commercial builders should include ICF construction in their design plans if they want to both cut down on long-term costs and increase the building’s sustainability.

Smart Amenities

Installing smart amenities and features in your next project can also be a cost-effective way to improve its sustainability. As smart technology learns and adapts to residents’ needs, it reduces energy consumption and lowers bills. For example, smart thermostats can help you manage the temperature of the living area and avoid wasting energy by only heating or cooling when necessary. These programmable thermostats can even be connected to a smart apartment platform which will give you building-wide information on your HVAC system. You may also include charging stations for electric vehicles as well as smart appliances which can help reduce residents’ energy usage by up to 50%. Smart lights are another effective way to boost sustainability as they can adjust to sunlight and turn-off when not needed — even if residents are away from home. These smart amenities are continuing to gain popularity as they improve sustainability and cut costs.

Energy-Efficient Exteriors

One of the best ways to increase a home’s sustainability is by improving its major exterior features. Energy-efficient exteriors will allow you to maintain an optimal temperature inside as well as consistently maximize your energy savings. For example, you could place solar shingles and panels on the roof. They will both protect your building from the elements as well as use the sun as a power source. Building designers can also purchase commercial sunshades which drastically reduce energy costs. These sunshades usually require little-to-no maintenance, and they can block out solar heat which will reduce the workload of a building’s HVAC system.

Sustainable Side-Paneling

Along with improving the energy-efficiency of your building’s exteriors, side-paneling is another way to promote sustainability. Fiber cement siding is one of the top options as it solves a number of common issues that plague structures with vinyl and wood siding. This form of temperature resistant siding is effective in any climate, and it is more-reliable than vinyl and wood. Fiber cement siding will allow you to keep your energy bills low as it actively prevents heat loss. Because it is a mixture of cement and wood, it is extremely durable, and it is resistant to water which means that it will never rot. With fiber cement siding, you can rely on sustainable materials to achieve the look and feel of wood siding without the accompanying dangers. Fiber cement siding offers a longer lifespan than traditional vinyl and synthetic materials, and it is more eco-friendly. In short, fiber cement siding is eco-friendly, waterproof, and reliable.

Overall, there are a number of sustainable building trends that you can include in your next multifamily project. In the long-run, they will save you time and money!

Mandy Lee is a contributor to Innovative Green Building Materials. She is a blogger and a content writer for the building materials industry. Mandy is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that increase property value, maximize energy savings, and turn houses into homes.

Categories: Sustainability