Sustainable Home Design Trends For 2024
Sustainability and eco-friendliness have become increasingly important considerations for homeowners in recent years. As environmental awareness grows, more people want to minimise their carbon footprint by creating green, energy-efficient homes that conserve resources and promote health and wellbeing. In 2024, these are some of the most prominent home design and construction trends that enhance sustainability.
What is Sustainable Home Design?
Sustainable home design aims to reduce the environmental impact of a home through strategic material selection, energy efficiency and renewable energy use. Unlike conventional home construction which often utilises resource-intensive materials and non-renewable energy sources, sustainable design minimises the carbon footprint of the property across its entire lifecycle.
Various green building certification programmes like BREEAM provide standards and ratings to define sustainable construction. For instance, they may outline criteria such as using a certain percentage of recycled materials, reducing water consumption or diverting at least half of the construction waste from the property from landfills. By integrating similar eco-conscious design elements, sustainable homes aim to reduce energy demands, conserve water, use responsibly-sourced materials and promote occupant health – all while lowering environmental impact. Inspired to make your home greener in 2024? Read on for the leading property trends.
Green Walls and Roofs
Incorporating vegetation on a home’s walls or roof promotes sustainability in several ways. “Homes with a living roof can save energy as this barrier better regulates the indoor temperature through evapotranspiration”, explains chartered surveyors Cosey Homes, “This further helps reduce and control the ambient temperature inside a home, keeping warm air inside when it’s needed and repelling heat from the sun in the summer”.
Green walls and roofs provide natural insulation to reduce energy demands for heating and cooling. They absorb rainfall to mitigate stormwater runoff, and plants help filter pollutants and carbon dioxide from the air. Greenery blended into the building also helps connect it with the surrounding habitat, which is beneficial for insects, birds and pollinators.
Sustainable Construction Materials
Selecting eco-friendly, responsibly-sourced materials is key for sustainable home design. Opting for products made from recycled, renewable and natural resources reduces environmental impact. For example, bamboo and cork are excellent sustainable flooring options as they’re renewable resources. Repurposed or recycled wood floors also provide eco-friendly durability. Likewise, for walls, recycled wood, rammed earth, hempcrete and straw bale walls incorporate recycled or rapidly renewable materials to replace conventional drywall or concrete.
Other materials to consider in your home design are natural linoleum, sheep’s wool insulation, recycled glass countertops and recycled plastic composites for decking which also promote sustainability. Be sure to verify sustainability certifications when selecting any recycled or renewable product. With thoughtful material selection, you can design an attractive, eco-friendly home that’s just as practical and efficient as one built with traditional building materials.
Prefabrication and Modular Design
“Seeing that society’s younger generations are choosing sustainability first, the demand for sustainable homes will only continue to grow”, explains Concept Capital Group, “Developers now need to meet even higher green standards as renters are becoming more environmentally aware around the world and as sustainability increasingly becomes a sign of quality and a desirable aspect of new properties”.
Prefabrication is one solution to the growing demand. This involves manufacturing components like wall panels, roof trusses and mechanical modules in a factory which are then assembled on-site. This optimised process reduces material waste, provides quality control and speeds up construction for homeowners.
Modular buildings take prefabrication a step further. The entire building is constructed off-site and then delivered in pre-assembled units to the final location. The modules are manufactured for efficiency, maximise sustainability and then joined into a finished home. From a sustainability perspective, more people are choosing prefab homes for their reduced waste and environmental resilience, with the ability to incorporate high-performance insulation, windows, HVAC and lighting during manufacturing.
In the year ahead, water conservation is likely to become a higher priority for homeowners. It’s a subject that isn’t discussed nearly enough but remains an important topic when it comes to sustainability and protecting our natural resources. Installing low-flow plumbing fixtures such as taps, showerheads, toilets and appliances dramatically reduces indoor water usage, while greywater recycling systems can reuse water from sinks, showers and washing machines for non-potable purposes like irrigation or flushing toilets.
Designing the home with good drainage and permeable surfaces allows stormwater to be absorbed back into the ground. By incorporating these water-saving strategies throughout the home and yard, homeowners can meaningfully reduce municipal water demands.
Increased Energy Efficiency
Boosting energy efficiency is a crucial component of creating a sustainable home. A tight, well-insulated envelope with energy efficient windows, doors and proper air sealing dramatically reduces heat loss and gain. Installing high-performance HVAC systems, water heaters, appliances and electronics ensures they consume less electricity. Smart thermostats, automated lighting controls and energy monitoring systems also help conserve energy on a daily basis.
Incorporating renewable energy sources like solar panels and heat pumps allows homes to meet some if not all of their electricity and heating and cooling needs sustainably. But homeowners are also increasingly choosing passive techniques which involve proper orientation, window placement, thermal mass and overhangs, to take advantage of sunlight and natural breezes for heating, cooling and ventilation.
In 2024, we’ll also see landscaping for shade and wind breaks further enhance microclimates in homes, with an aim to reduce energy demands. With an integrated approach that combines efficiency, renewables, and passive techniques, homes can significantly shrink their carbon footprint and environmental impact.
Creating an eco-friendly, sustainable home is an important way for homeowners to minimise their environmental impact. By incorporating the above green features, materials and building techniques, eco homes reduce resource consumption across their lifecycle. Sustainable design trends for the year ahead reflect a growing desire for resilience and responsible living. Whether building new or remodelling existing spaces, homeowners have more options than ever to construct durable, high-performing abodes.