Real estate is an industry that is continually fuelled by innovation in its applications and technologies. The housing market has been an avid adopter of the latest trends in design and architecture, while meeting the changing needs and demands of its consumers. Recently, significant steps are being made towards a more positive global and environmental impact – introducing “green” innovation into the way homes are designed.
Here are some of the key trends and issues that are successfully merging sustainability and technology, while making a significant impact in the Canadian real estate market:
1. Emphasis on Sustainable Building Materials
Wood is making a successful comeback as a building material, in both residential and commercial building projects. It is a sustainable material that is even said to have less impact on the life cycle of the structure than concrete – the main purpose of using wood in construction is to reduce the carbon footprint of the construction.
Canada’s real estate market has put significant efforts into creating and promoting sustainability through projects based on wooden structures. Some of the most impressive examples are Montreal’s soccer stadium and Arbora project, as well as Quebec City’s Origine Tower.
Wood may seem like a less durable building material solution when compared to concrete, but its use is skyrocketing for a good reason. Wooden housing structures are easy to upgrade, and present a cost-effective, sustainable, and low-impact solution to construction.
2. Progress of Net Zero Energy Standard
Canada has always been a strong advocate for environmentalist concerns, raising global awareness of the impact we leave on our landscapes. With its most recent measure, the Zero Carbon Building Standard, Canada Green Building Council (CAGBC) has made significant, innovative and concrete steps towards creating a standard for green building.
This Zero Carbon Initiative has as its main goal a zero carbon building program and aims to set standards that all buildings will have to abide by. This includes increasing their sustainability, decreasing the energy waste and basing its operations on clean, natural energy. Overall, this initiative encourages using and generating renewable power, such as solar energy or wind, both during the construction and design process, as well as in the building’s future performance.
3. Digitalization and Technology at the Centre of Real Estate
Digitalization is one of the most significant trends to impact not only real estate but every industry as well. In a technological and digitalized era, industry experts as well as consumers use technology in nearly all aspects of their everyday lives, and industries have no choice but to adapt. Most processes in the real estate purchase and sales cycle has now been digitalized, such as online property searches, digital marketing instead of print, e-signatures, and using crypto-currency to purchase homes!
Technology has become an integral part of our lives, and the real estate industry must reflect that. Many buildings are now equipped with high-tech devices and upgrades, servicing the entire building complex or individual residences with lifestyle-improving innovations. Some of those conveniences and amenities are geared toward ecological sustainability such as lighting and temperature sensors among other energy-saving functions, which make the building more energy-efficient.
4. Repurposing Old Building Structures
Also known as adaptive reuse, this practice is by no means a new one – it has existed and been used on many projects and buildings in the past, but lately its popularity has grown within the real estate market. The adaptive approach has been well-received by the consumers, and has, at the same time, proven to be a significant sustainable and green trend.
Old existing buildings and structures, such as former warehouses, factories, mills and such, are now being adapted and repurposed for residential purposes, or commercial and community purposes. One of many examples in Canada is the Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto, a former brick factory, now a large scale community environmental center, first of its kind in the country, one that targets carbon neutrality, and where people can learn about sustainable practices.
Precisely this sustainability is one of the main characteristics of the adaptive reuse approach. Firstly, there is no need to consume new land and find new plots, and possibly destroy nature and wildlife along the way. Secondly, less energy and materials are used, therefore less impact and a smaller carbon footprint is left on the environment. Thirdly, it can be further retrofitted with sustainable features in mind, and, last of all, the overall expenses and the timeframe of the project are smaller than with new constructions.
Sustainability Trends Are Here to Stay
All of these trends are interrelated, influenced by each other, or even dependent on one another to a lesser or greater extent. But all of them, ultimately, have the same goal in mind – sustainability and a decreased impact on the environment. They are certainly taking the real estate market by storm, and are bound only to develop further.
This article, Sustainable Technology Trends in Canadian Real Estate: 2018, appeared first on Shupilov News.