When designing and building today’s homes, it’s important to have an in-depth understanding of homebuyers’ expectations. As the trend toward sustainable housing continues, you need to ensure the building materials you use will help create eco-friendly and energy-efficient communities.
Let’s review some recent trends to better understand what you can do to meet the needs of homebuyers, including using more sustainable building materials for the framework of the homes you design and build.
What Today’s Homebuyers Want
Green building has become increasingly popular in recent years. As homebuyers become more environmentally conscious, using sustainable building materials is now more of a mainstream practice compared to just a decade ago.
Here are some recent statistics showing just how important sustainable building is:
- According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), homebuyers want design elements that help them save money on energy costs and improve the indoor air quality of their homes.
- Energy-saving features (including ENERGY STAR® appliances, windows, etc.) and whole-house green certification are just some of the most sought after home features.
- 74 percent of home buyers prefer features and finishes made of more expensive materials that will last longer, compared to just 26 percent who would choose cheaper materials that need to be replaced more often.
- Nearly half of homebuyers are willing to invest between $1,000 and $9,999 for $1,000 annual savings on their utility bills, with 37 percent willing to spend upward of $10,000.
What Does This Mean for Builders and Developers?
Builders and developers should capitalize on these home buying trends by incorporating more smart and sustainable features into their buildings. Knowing what we do about recent trends in home buying, there are some building materials you should consider using to help create an all-around more sustainable structure.
For example, the type of wall system you choose plays a major role in a home’s longevity and sets the framework for the sustainability of your home design. While wood frame construction remains a popular choice throughout the United States, there are significant issues with its cost, structural integrity and resilience.
Wood frame construction poses several challenges that can impact the sustainability of your home designs. These potential issues can dramatically increase construction costs and labor, delay project timelines and completion dates, and decrease the home’s overall level of energy efficiency. These issues include:
- Moisture accumulation within the wall assembly
- Limited fire protection and resistance
- Susceptibility to termites and other pests
- Lacking strength, durability and resilience to withstand natural disasters
Choosing a more sustainable framework like insulated concrete forms (ICFs) ensures you are building a 21st century home that will offer sustainability and energy-efficiency for years — even generations — to come. While the initial costs of sustainable building materials may seem higher than more traditional options, the overall savings often offset the building costs.
The Bautex Wall System is a great example of a cost-effective wall system that is energy-efficient and designed to outlast and outperform wood frame construction.
Build Your Residential Communities Using Bautex
By simplifying construction of a home into one integrated structural envelope system, Bautex makes high-performance construction affordable. In fact, Bautex homes have proven to be cost-effective across a wide range of home sizes and construction budgets — an ideal feature when you are planning living communities that will attract a wide range of homebuyers.
The Bautex Wall System simplifies construction, accelerates schedules, lowers costs and increases building performance compared to traditional wall assemblies like wood framing. They are also easy to install, fire-rated, noise-reducing and storm-resistant.
The Bautex Wall System completely replaces exterior framing, sheathing, insulation and house wrap to be an all-in-one, integrated solution that is installed by one trade. Because the system only requires one trade to build the frame, contractors can reduce coordination challenges between multiple trades and the chance for costly delays.
The Bautex Wall System only takes four steps to install:
- Bautex Blocks, composite concrete insulating forms (ICF)
- Rebar, which is placed easily into the forms
- Concrete to pour into the blocks as you reach a floor, roof or planned height
- An Air and Moisture Barrier applied directly on the blocks
Provide the Energy-Efficient Features Homebuyers Want
The Bautex Wall System delivers a high-level of continuous insulation and creates a tight energy-efficient envelope. Continuous insulation in the construction of a wall’s assembly stops the flow of heat by conduction, convection and radiation. It also prevents thermal bridging, which is a common issue with more traditional framing options.
When applied, the addition of the Bautex Air and Moisture Barrier creates another energy-efficient layer to protect the home. It reduces thermal convection and thermal radiation by preventing air, moisture and ultraviolet waves from passing through the wall.
The Bautex Wall System meets the thermal performance level required by the International Residential Code (IRC) and the International Building Code (IBC). It is also a popular choice for resilient design and follows the national building codes for water, earthquake, storm and fire resistance.
Choose From Several Design Options
From practical to more creative and modern designs, the Bautex Wall System adds the same high level of strength and flexibility to all home designs. The walls of a Bautex home plan are wider (10 inches) than the walls of a wood-framed home plan (about 4 — 6 inches), so there are more design options available — a feature that is valuable to both builders and homebuyers.
ICFs are also easy to shape and cut, making them an ideal choice for custom-designed homes that boast special features like cathedral ceilings, oversized openings, curved walls, long ceiling spans and custom angles.
See How Others Use Bautex
Along with sustainability, versatility is an important benefit of using the Bautex Wall System. Using Bautex means you can create a unique visual aesthetic without compromising the integrity of your designs for homes and entire living communities.
Let’s look at some examples of how the Bautex Wall System was used to create residential buildings that vary in style and budget.
AutoHaus: An Energy-Efficient Hybrid Residence and Collector’s Garage
This energy-efficient home in Austin, Texas integrates a 15-car garage and living space that provides:
- Physical Security: Bautex Blocks provided protection from physical and environmental damage while also making the cars visible and accessible to the owners.
- Simplification of Wall Design: The wall system provides structure, enclosure and insulation in a single integrated and robust package. Only stucco and plaster finishes were added to the walls to complete them.
- Durability and Low Maintenance: Using the Bautex Wall System gave the owners a big space that could be hosed out and power washed without causing water damage.
The Dixon Residence: An Energy-Efficient “Forever Home”
Located in Dripping Springs, Texas, the Bautex Wall System was used to create a resource-efficient and low maintenance home that withstands the harsh Texas climate.
- Low Energy Costs: Energy bills hit a peak of $120 in the Texas summer but stay very low for the rest of the year. This home is solar and net-zero ready.
- 100% Rainwater: A 20,000-gallon cistern is located inside the thermal envelope under the bedroom wing to provide clean and fresh water and doubles as a“thermal mass” heat sink to create more stable indoor temperatures year-round.
- Low Maintenance: Solid walls with durable finishes give the owners a sense of living in something that will last forever and take very little maintenance.
Bautex Fast Track: An Integrated Design and Construction Platform for Builders and Developers
The Bautex Fast Track program for residential construction is an integrated design and construction platform that allows developers and builders to deliver next-generation homes faster and at competitive market prices.
You can create hundreds of different home designs and be ready to build in less than 30 days.
The Bautex Fast Track includes:
- Localized architectural plans ready for permit and construction
- Complete structural engineering of foundation and walls
- Multiple interior design packages and product ordering information
- Optimized mechanical engineering design and equipment plan
- Integrated Solution Team providing construction support
The first Bautex Fast Track program is tailored to urban infill lots that are common in most cities with lot widths as small as 40 feet. The program provides seven different floor plan configurations for single-family, duplex and a new accessory dwelling unit (ADU) option. The program will also include six architectural elevations and two interior design packages to choose from.
If you are interested in joining the Bautex Fast Track, click here and fill out the form at the bottom of the page.
We’re committed to helping builders and developers construct the most sustainable, healthy and resilient buildings possible, and our building materials are designed to help you achieve sustainable design goals:
- Maximizing home energy efficiency
- Improving home occupant health, safety and welfare
- Creating quiet and thermally comfortable indoor spaces
- Increasing home resilience and lifespan
- Incorporation of post-industrial recycled content
- Offering regionally manufactured building materials
Click here and tell us what your questions are, and our team will get back to you promptly.