Dynamic Integration in the Housing Market
The housing industry has seen major technological and material advances in recent years—high efficiency appliances, spray foam insulation, geothermal heating and cooling, residential solar energy, and much more. We are now experiencing large-scale digitalization as computers and smartphones are integrated into everyday facets of life, and the housing industry is just starting to realize the full potential of digital technology and home automation. With digital technology and various high efficiency materials and appliances at their disposal, homebuilders are poised to create a new generation of highly efficient and automated homes, a goal that is now easily attainable with the proper integration of technologies.
With all of the new materials and technologies on the market, builders face the challenge of utilizing these elements in an optimal and cost-efficient manner. In his article “Striving to Make Sustainable Home Building Standard,” writer Manny Gonzalez notes that a sustainable home is “not just the insulation or the housewrap or the mechanical system, it’s how they all work together to create a home that delivers the results that have the least impact on the environment and the pocketbook.” For example, Gonzalez states that using 2x6 inch studs spaced farther apart than the conventional 2x4 inch studs uses less lumber and increases the insulation value of the walls. This better-insulated home can then use a smaller HVAC unit to achieve a comfortable indoor climate. The question, then, is how to optimize your building materials and integrate them with new technology to achieve the best return on investment.
Project planning and consulting will go a long way in creating a dynamic, energy efficient home. Building science experts like those at E3 INNOVATE use energy modeling software to virtually assess the energy usage of home plans. Based on the energy model, these consultants provide recommendations for strategic insulation, window types, HVAC unit size, high efficiency water heaters, geothermal heating and cooling, and more. These technologies are not necessarily difficult to implement, but integrating them in a cost-effective way can be most readily achieved by consulting a building science company like E3 INNOVATE.
Additionally, utilizing digital technology in the home can be relatively inexpensive for the builder and make the home both easier to control and more efficient, if implemented properly. An article on Builder Online recognizes that builders must “embrace the reality that the integration of new, digital technology into our homes is coming—fast and furiously.” The housing market today is entering a competitive landscape wherein builders must keep up with consumer trends and integrate the new generation of sustainable building materials and technology to remain viable in the market.