The residential real estate industry makes up a significant part of the global economy, and it’s projected to have a volume of almost $500 trillion by the end of 2023.
However, the industry’s environmental impact is equally substantial.
About 30% of the world’s energy is consumed by buildings. They are also responsible for 26% of global emissions, including carbon dioxide emissions.
Many people choose to invest in eco houses because they want their homes to be less harmful to the environment and their health.
For example, sustainable real estate Dubai offers is more than twice as popular as regular property options among investors.
Sustainable real estate is not only about saving the environment. It’s also a good way to cut down on your financial expenses.
In this article, you will learn what sustainable real estate is, its main features, and the benefits of investing in it.
1. Defining Sustainable Real Estate
Sustainable real estate is buildings that use primarily eco-friendly materials and have improved efficiency to reduce waste, energy use, and carbon footprint.
The concept of sustainable real estate involves constructing buildings with renewable resources focusing on energy and water efficiency.
To achieve this goal, real estate developers should take into account every stage of a project’s life cycle, from planning to post-construction maintenance.
Sustainable real estate aims to create healthy and comfortable living spaces that support the well-being of people living there.
Investing in sustainable real estate can yield several benefits. It reduces operating costs thanks to lower utility bills and offers tax incentives.
READ MORE: Best Sustainable Materials for Furniture
2. How Green Real Estate is Evolving Environment
As mentioned before, buildings account for almost one-third of global energy use and carbon dioxide emissions.
Investing in sustainable real estate has various benefits:
- Energy efficiency. Eco-friendly real estate employs various energy-saving technologies like solar panels, LED lighting, and smart home systems that optimize energy usage, resulting in lower energy bills and reduced carbon emissions.
- Renewable resource. With the help of water-saving fixtures, rainwater harvesting systems, and greywater recycling, sustainable homes prioritize reduction in water consumption and the efficient use of natural resources.
- Air quality. Sustainable homes employ ventilation systems that provide fresh air circulation and filtration, reducing the presence of indoor pollutants and allergens. Low-toxicity materials also minimize the emission of harmful volatile organic compounds into the air.
- Comfort. Eco-friendly homes provide high-quality insulation, efficient windows, and well-sealed building envelopes to maintain consistent indoor temperatures, reducing the need for excessive cooling or heating.
- Property Value. Sustainability becomes a more significant consideration for homebuyers. With more people taking responsibility for their actions, demand for environmentally conscious properties will continue to rise.
- Environmental Impact. By reducing energy consumption, utilizing renewable energy sources, conserving water, and adopting sustainable building practices, these sustainable real estate contribute to mitigating climate change, reducing the carbon footprint and conserving natural resources.
- Cost Savings. The long-term cost savings of a sustainable home outweigh its initial costs. Energy-efficient features and technologies significantly reduce energy bills and maintenance costs.
Appealing to ethical practices, sustainable real estate investment also provides a sense of social responsibility, while simultaneously creating healthy and comfortable living spaces.
It enables investors to do good while promoting wellness for humans.
READ MORE: 10 Ideas to Make Your Home More Sustainable
3. Sustainable Real Estate Features
Sustainable real estate incorporates eco-friendly features and technologies that help minimize energy consumption, improve water efficiency, and reduce waste.
Here are three main sustainability features that investors are unusually looking for in their eco homes:
Energy-sufficient appliances of sustainable real estate lower utility bills while also reducing waste from disposable products.
For example, solar panels generate electricity with sunlight while wind turbines use wind power instead of fossil fuels. You can also install:
- LED lights;
- smart thermostats;
- heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems;
- geothermal systems.
Advanced insulation materials and design techniques help regulate indoor temperatures.
Smart thermostats and automated systems can optimize energy usage by adjusting heating, ventilation, and air conditioning settings based on your needs.
Those appliances also don’t pollute the environment like fossil fuels do by emitting harmful chemicals into the air.
READ MORE: Improving the Energy Efficiency of Your Home
On average, a US citizen uses up to 175 gallons of water each day. With so much water getting wasted and overused, water efficiency strategies in green building practices have become paramount.
Several technologies are used to reduce water waste, yielding lower sewage volumes, reduce energy use, and bring in financial benefits:
- Rainwater harvesting. Rainwater is usually collected from the rooftops and deposited in a reservoir with filtration. This water can be used for gardening and cultivation.
- Greywater recycling. Greywater is water from bathtubs, showers, or washing machines. Treatment of greywater can include filtering, settlement of solids, flotation, separation of lighter solids, and chemical disinfection.
- Low-flow plumbing fixtures. Plumbing fixtures like faucets, shower heads, and toilets can save large quantities of water. They are designed to operate with less water.
Water-efficient technologies play a crucial part in the preservation of freshwater resources.
The choice of building materials and construction practices determines the sustainability of real estate projects.
Natural and recycled materials are better than synthetic ones because they reduce waste, save resources, and make it easier to maintain your home in the long run.
Sustainable materials include:
- Brick. It’s made from clay that has been baked at high temperatures, and it can be recycled over and over again.
- Stone. It’s a great material for building because it’s durable and sturdy.
- Glass. Hydrogel glass windows let more light into your home without letting heat escape.
In addition to these natural elements being sustainable, because they come from renewable sources, they also have low carbon footprints due to their ability to store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over time through photosynthesis or weathering processes, such as erosion or oxidation reactions with soil minerals (iron oxides).
4. Importance of Sustainability in Investment Decisions
If you’re interested in sustainable real estate investing, it’s important to do your research on the basics of sustainable real estate.
Consider working with an experienced real estate agent or agencies that have experience with sustainable real estate. They can guide you in the process of making the right investment decision.
The consumption of natural resources is at an all-time high, and countries worldwide are doing their best to reduce the use of those limited resources.
Most governments provide financial incentives for people investing in green property projects. Those investors should be at the forefront of their industries.
Furthermore, studies have shown that sustainable homes generate 26% more money when sold than those that are less energy-efficient.
Before making a final decision, ensure that the property has high energy efficiency confirmed by documentation like LEED certifications.
In summary, going green and investing in sustainable real estate have many benefits. If you are willing to preserve the environment, stay energy efficient, and save money on your energy bills, there is no better option than buying an eco-friendly home.