Boston proper is moving to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century - a goal which is shaping the real estate building sector in many ways. The environment is being considered in everything from the choice of materials to the design of homes that are capable of adapting to changing environments. Schools, homes, and commercial properties alike are taking these considerations into account in new properties, and existing property owners are doing the same when it comes to renovations. These are just a few trends to watch out for on the Boston 'green property' scene.
Efficient Use of Energy
For over a decade now, the encouragement of naturally lit spaces has played a twofold role. As confirmed by Mangum Builders, one of the biggest recent booms in new build and renovations alike, are open kitchens - built both to connect spaces and enable light to flow more efficiently through the home. High ceilings, large glass windows and ceiling-to-floor glass walls, and the creation of connected areas within the home all permit light to enter into different spaces of the home. Energy efficiency is also being embraced by pairing renewable energy and underfloor heating. These systems are being paired with geo-location features that turn heating systems off when families leave their home.
Recessed Lead Lighting
Modern homeowners cannot rely on the sun for light all day, which ups the demand for beautiful, sustainable lighting. Recessed LED lighting is a common feature in new builds owing to its eco-friendly factor. Homebuyers also crave the chic, minimalist look it affords. These days, bulbs are replaced after around five years, so that this type of lighting is also the way to go from a practical point of view. LED lighting is also being used in decorative lighting features such as pendant lights, modern chandeliers, and individual lamps in key spots in common areas and bedrooms.
Biophilic design - which connects occupants to nature - is growing in popularity in hotels, commercial buildings, and homes alike. A simple structure such as a vertical wall needs to be incorporated into the architectural design of a home, with verdant wall recesses and living walls or panels connecting or dividing spaces as required by homeowners. Closely linked to biophilic design is biomimicry, in which products and materials are designed by drawing inspiration from nature. Thus, dragonfly wings can be copied to make lightweight structures, wall systems can mimic natural homeostasis in terms of temperature control, and processes such as photosynthesis can be copied to capture the heat of the sun.
Homeowners, wary of the level of indoor pollution caused by features such as pressed wood furniture and furnishings containing formaldehyde, are now seeking more natural, sustainable materials to furnish and fit their homes. Thus, there is now a big demand in Boston and other parts of the United States for materials like reclaimed wood, natural textiles, and wire-scraped oak. Brad Walker of Boston's Walker Architects states that people are "moving away from the look of surfaces embalmed in smooth polyurethane."
Green building is a big trend in Boston and indeed the rest of the globe. New homebuyers are an increasingly eco-friendly one. They wish to live in well-lit, sustainably energized homes whose main attractive feature is arguably the amount of natural light that moves through connected spaces. Recycled and natural looking materials are also in high demand; the slick shine of granite countertops has very much given away to looks inspired on natural wood - or indeed, for interiors entirely made of reclaimed wood.