Going Green: The Architectural Trends of the Future and Now

April 22, 2022

In response to the IPCC report released earlier this month, environmental issues are again at the forefront of our global consciousness. But, while sustainability is a priority for many, it is often ambiguous which of our choices are truly “environmentally friendly”—especially within our homes. 

As we collectively reconsider how we build our homes, innovative urban designers are pioneering our world’s greener future. Residential design and architecture have seen an explosion of new ideas and sustainable practices, and many architects, homebuilders and buyers alike have committed to Green Architecture

Read on for an exploration of what Green Architecture is all about, as well as examples of Engel & Völkers listings that are mindfully and ingeniously at peace with their environment.

What is Green Architecture?

Green Architecture (also referred to as “Green Design” or “Green Building”) is a holistic architectural practice enacted through all phases of the building process, from design strategy and construction to the home’s functionalities once sold. To ensure the surrounding air, water and biodiversity are preserved, designers take a community-forward approach that prioritizes locality. While every project is unique, they share the mutual goal to reduce human impact on our climate, reduce carbon emissions and support the local environment.

As more and more buyers become interested in Green Architecture, these environmentally friendly developments have garnered attention from major investors.

Features of a Green Home

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification

LEED Certification is an extensive, third-party-driven recognition given to homes that use less energy and fewer resources than their counterparts. These environmentally, energy and cost-friendly homes also provide healthier conditions for their residents. By using the safest building materials available, LEED-certified homes are known to provide clean indoor air with minimal toxins and pollutants. 

LEED-certified homes conserve water and energy, which can result in a twenty to thirty percent reduction in monthly bills. The financial savings don’t end there; due to state tax incentives for LEED-certified dwellings, these well-built homes can cost the same as non-green homes.

Solar Panels

Perhaps the most recognizable green home feature, solar panels generate electricity from the sun to either partially or completely eliminate a home’s reliance on electricity grids. While solar panels are often added to a roof or exterior structure retroactively, they can be less obvious in new builds—especially as technological innovation creates more design options, such as the Tesla Solar Roof.

Eco-Friendly Materials and Other Home Features

Recycled bricks, stone and glass have become common alternatives to other building materials such as concrete—one of the most carbon-extensive materials in existence. Green homeowners may also consider integrating: 

  • Energy-efficient appliances
  • Non-synthetic and non-toxic materials for both interiors and exteriors
  • Locally-sourced wood and stone (eliminates the need for extraneous transportation) 
  • Use of architectural salvage 
  • Rainwater harvesting systems
  • Electric car chargers

Green Homes with Engel & Völkers

Owens Cross Roads, Alabama

This modern townhome was built by a certified green builder. The model-like home features 9-foot ceilings, crown molding and wood floors. Inside, the family room is complete with a cozy fireplace and flows to the dining and kitchen rooms—an open-concept design ideal for entertaining. The primary suite comes equipped with an en suite bath and walk-in closet while the upper-level bedroom is ideal as a private guest suite.

Located with excellent proximity to shopping, restaurants and parks.

Listed by Shalu Holman of Engel & Völkers Huntsville.

La Quinta Resort, Marbella, Spain

Nestled within this 200-hectare mountainside resort, this unique development consists of 31 apartments and penthouses. By respecting the environment, the resort molds into nature magnificently, producing a comfortable, spacious living space. Inside La Quinta, residents experience a world hidden in the hills with spectacular facilities, inclusive of a central lake, a hotel, restaurants, shops, an equestrian center, orchards, a sports lake and golf courses.

As the modern world and nature coexist, ample apartments with spacious open-plan living spaces are at peace with their surroundings. Spectacular panoramic views, lakeside facilities and a beautiful beach are all within a minute’s walk from your apartment. Come to your senses—paradise awaits.

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