The Evolution of the Sustainable Home

EarthThe term “sustainable home” is quite common at this point in time, but it wasn’t too long ago that most people had never heard of it, let alone had any idea what it really meant.

Sustainable building really made its mark in this country in the 1960s when there was an exodus of people moving to more rural areas away from suburban life. The move meant finding ways to live affordably and conveniently and so alternative construction methods were explored. These same methods are becoming more and more mainstream as modern families are also looking for cost-efficient and greener ways of living.

Back then, methods like solar heating and cooling, wind and hydro electric power, water filtration and composting were something out of a science fiction novel. Today, they are common sense methods of a sustainable lifestyle that is better on the wallet and the environment.

In fact, the sustainable industry as a whole is booming, even in harsher economic times when other industries are taking a hit. Photovoltaic panels, a fancy term for solar panels, is one of the fastest growing industries in the world as is the “green roofing” industry.

Through the years home builders, as well as commercial builders, have been testing methods in passive heating and cooling, radiant floor heating, as well as alternative sewage treatments and water reuse. These tests have not only shaped the sustainability movement but introduced it to a new segment of the population, those people who never understood the merits of a greener life.

The sustainability movement also sent signals to materials manufacturers and suppliers that new products were needed and demanded. This demand led to investments which led to the availability of greener building materials not only for contractors but for DIYers as well.

All of these events finally led to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System being formed in 1993. As a result, the entire construction industry, both commercial and private homes, has evolved, and green initiatives have become recognizable and fully-embraced by the populace as a whole.



Categories: Green Living

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