Some buzz words... Local, recycled, long lasting, low impact, low voc emissions.
Check out the U.S. Green Building Council for new updates.
We will see more engineered floor joists, stronger, straighter,more stable, with more design choices.
Composite boards will also be used more. The parks system is actually using these boards to wind through low grounds for walking paths. Much better than salt treated.
Flooring, look for new bamboo prefinished with almost indestructible coatings.Linoleum is also back but not your mother's old style, but new high grade long lasting.
Look for milk paints low VOC paints, water based polyurethane, and stains. Or use of just tung oil on woodwork or floors.
There is more usage of of sisal or hemp rugs, especially room rugs that can be rolled up and cleaned, and reused.
Insulation can now be cotton batting, rock wool, soy based and sticky cellulose. Look into other alternatives that are more efficient.
Newer HVAC geothermal is a little more costly up front, about 12,000 vs 8000 for heat pump; but saves 75% of heating bills and last twice as long as a heat pump. and no noise to deal with. Average saving is about 2000 or more a year on average home. A worthwhile investment.
And don't forget tank less hot water heaters. Why do you want to heat water all day versus just when you need it.
By 2012 they will be phasing out incandescent bulbs. Try fluorescent. Why? They last 10 times as long, and save much energy. LED's are also becoming available. Improvements are being made to these products all the time.
Foundations are changing, manyare concrete being poured into molds.
Check out these products and be sure to make sure the installer is familiar with the products he is installing. Check references and if there are LEED's certified.
I hope some of this information is helpful to the average home owner re modeler, as well as to anyone considering building.
yours Wanda Fears,
804-909-2777 call or text