January 11, 2010
Solar panels, Smart Grid technology, and home energy audits were all popular green trends trends in 2009. But what home building trends are in store for 2010? We talked to Jeff Sties from Sunbiosis P.L.C. a local sustainable design company, about green building trends of 2009 and the forecast for 2010.
It's no big secret that the building industry had a less than stellar year in 2009, but there is a bright spot. The green or environmental building sector continued to gain momentum. Jeff Sties says, "I continued to receive calls all year long from folks who are very interested in building an energy efficient home."
It's all about building smarter, building local, and building what woks best for you. "I think the trends that I saw in 2008/2009 for smaller, good quality, energy efficient housing will continue. In fact I think it will become more mainstream." says Sties.
A larger home no longer translates into greater equity, it's about "rightsizing" your home. Sties says most of his projects are single level homes ranging from 1,800 to 2,000 square feet. "I think there will be a larger emphasis on projects built inside the city limits so less development further out and more revitalization of projects here in the city."
Another recent trend expected to strengthen in 2010 is the use of regional building materials. Sties, "We like to use wood that come right from Virginia as much as we can and whenever we can use counter top material or stone for foundations from Virginia or the region we try to do so as well."
Sties also talked about his hopes for more community gardens, local food network expansion, and more walking or bike paths downtown. He says 2010 is not only a good year to expand green building but also a good year year to do some community building.