The environment has taken center stage in recent years, prompting consumers and businesses all over the world to reimagine and reconsider what we produce, consume, and how we live. Eco-friendly technology stands poised to help us redesign everything from our transportation systems to the way we get healthcare. But what about our homes? Can eco-friendly technology reshape how we live without sacrificing the comforts that we have become accustomed to?
Decades ago, living a more sustainable lifestyle often meant using less technology and fewer gadgets. Taking advantage of modern conveniences like dryers for your laundry, and common kitchen appliances were seen as a waste of finite resources on things that we could live without. However, technology has finally caught up with the trend, providing us with all of the conveniences of modern life with a smaller carbon footprint. From photovoltaic roofing tiles to solar phone chargers, we are seeing all of the trappings of modern life embracing a more environmentally conscious worldview.
Home designs and construction material is already evolving to make use of reclaimable and recyclable materials. Everything from shipping containers to plastic bottles is being used to make new homes, insulation, flooring and even furniture. Earthbag homes with sophisticated plumbing that gets the most out of every drop of water used are already under construction. Rooftop gardens on office buildings, high-efficiency washing machines, and “smart” air conditioning units are already becoming part of the design and construction landscape.
Smart homes don’t just help you to manage your energy consumption, they can also help you manage the way you access the world. Being able to turn off and on your air filters, get an accurate picture of the air quality in the house, or order groceries from a display panel on your refrigerator are all within reach. The smart homes of the future would allow you to send your doctor biometric data from your bathroom scale every day. The technology either exists already or is in development, making smart homes more than a dream.
The move towards a more sustainable living is not only in technology. Home design and construction are also undergoing a revolution, with innovations such as tiny homes gaining popularity. Everybody from architects to newlyweds are getting in on these tiny, affordable housing options. They are finding new ways to include all of the comforts of conventional construction in a smaller, more portable, and often off-grid living space.
As more consumers begin to make environmental issues a determining factor in their spending habits, the market will respond with more and more innovation, offering guilt-free comfort to clients.