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One of the key issues facing the construction industry when erecting new real estate is how it can be made more sustainable for the future. In other words, how can we move towards self-sufficient, sustainable real estate that protects the planet rather than impact it?

There has been a tendency in the not-so-distant past for real estate to impact the environment, be it the smoky industry of the early twentieth century or the clamour to build homes in the sky with little thought of their long-term impact through the middle of the last century.

The last 20 years or so have seen the construction industry moving towards sustainable solutions within a city environment, so what are the latest trends and innovations focused on sustainable real estate? Let’s examine a handful here.

Solar Energy

Solar energy has been around for a while, but increasingly it’s being implemented in new-build homes and construction projects to promote a more sustainable lifestyle. Scandinavia particularly grasps renewable energy forms, with 50% of Sweden’s overall energy consumption coming from renewable sources by 2020.

While solar energy is responsible for a small portion of this, in new installations it can give inhabitants a little more control over their own energy sources. Solar panels are becoming commonplace on new-build homes now and should continue to do so into the new decade.

Smart Bathrooms

Energy isn’t the only resource we need to take care of in the world; water is another valuable resource that’s both scarce and costly at the same time. A summer drought can lead to water shortages across the United States and the wider world.

Smart technology is now able to help limit water usage within a dwelling. Smart toilets can regulate flushes and be programmed to deal with different waste using differing amounts of water. A shower can be programmed for a set time or can heat water more efficiently, as and when required.

There has been some push back from consumers who feel this technology is more costly, but that’s not the case. All plumbing installations, however basic, can be expensive to repair. That’s why a post by HomeServe on how to diagnose central heating problems recommends that boilers and heating systems should be regularly checked and serviced by a professional, something that is applicable whether you have a smart shower, toilet or traditional installation. Being sustainable does not necessarily mean being more expensive.

Lighting

All homes need lighting solutions, but by linking a lighting grid city-wide, a resident can have control over their lighting in a more efficient way. A report by Dagoretti News suggests that on a wide scale, this could also apply to a range of other lighting applications such as street lights, tunnels, office lighting and projection lighting, to name but a few.

A smart home lighting solution provides you with full control over the lighting in your home. While the responsibility of energy-saving bulbs is down to the individual, aspects such as when lighting comes on, or off, can help save energy. For instance, when the evenings are dark, porch lighting might be left on while someone is out at work, but with a smart lighting installation, it can be set to come on only when needed.

If you liked this article, why not check out the ‘Top 5 Real Estate Trends to be Thankful for in 2020’ elsewhere on the site.