How Can I Make My Home Climate Friendly?

How Can I Make My Home Climate Friendly?

Sustainable Investing

Climate Technology in the Home Today 

The climate and environmental issues surrounding the construction of new homes has now  become an unavoidable subject. Indeed, the world’s population is  constantly increasing, bringing to light new problems never seen before. 

As a result, new standards and laws are appearing all over the world, stimulating innovation in residential construction and addressing the growing climate emergency to simply give some figures, between 2018 and 2019, the number of photovoltaic panels installed in the world has increased by 12%. (graph below).

This revolution within the real estate market has also given life to many innovations ranging from simple appliances that consume less energy to nearly 100% ecological houses with, for example, bio-air conditioners to curb the effects of air pollution. 

Thus, we can ask ourselves three main questions. Why such an ecological change in the real  estate and housing market? How does it manifest itself? And finally, what are the  values/innovations on which it may be interesting to bet for the future?

Why such an ecological change in the real estate and housing market ?  Population growth is no secret. The more people there are on the planet, the more we have  to accommodate. We all agree on this fact! (Indeed, according to the latest figures from the  World Bank, we have an annual population growth of 0.9% for a current demography of  7.753 billion. In other words, 77,530,000 new people arrive on earth every year and thus require housing.) 

 On a  global scale, housing is among the first causes of ecological degradation. The energy  consumption of buildings is the first sector of CO2 emissions worldwide. As for the  construction of buildings, it is one of the only industries that generates high volumes of greenhouse gasses and waste. 

In 2019 alone, the building sector emitted more than ten billion tons of CO2, while the total global production emitted 38 billion tons of CO2. The real estate sector  alone accounts for over 26% of greenhouse gas emissions. 

It therefore seems obvious that the issue of ecology arises in this sector and that it must be  taken to heart. Both in terms of the construction of habitats and their maintenance and  development over the years. By habitat, I also mean what is consumed inside the  households and the means used by any human within his habitat. 

The graph below shows the importance of the energy consumed in the habitats as  well as the construction of new homes on the ecological impact. We also notice that the  pandemic has involuntarily lowered the impact of each industry on global warming.

How does this ecological change manifest itself in the real estate market ?  The real estate sector has witnessed an overwhelming increase in technological advances and innovation in recent years.   Let’s make an exhaustive list of the most ambitious and interesting innovations in this field. 

The smart home: 

This growing market in the U.S. combines the evolution of technology with a greener  mindset. 

Briefly, a smart home allows you to control remotely connected tools in bluetooth and wifi  such as heaters, lights, doors and many appliances. 

It is estimated that there are 175 million smart homes in the world today, with the United  States holding nearly 40% of the market share. 

In addition to having an ecological aspect, these homes also allow the transformation of the life of  the elderly and people with reduced mobility. 

The evolution of solar panels: 

Today in a conventional photovoltaic panel, the hybrid lead perovskite is very often used.  In addition to its inexpensive price tag, it is an excellent creator of electricity once struck by the sun’s rays. It is one of the  materials with the best efficiency rate (around 22%), beaten only by silicon (25%). 

With this first observation of polarons, the challenge is now to understand how they are  formed, and what is their role in solar cells. For a decade, perovskite has been used in solar  panels without really understanding how it works. 

Year after year, its efficiency rate has improved and polarons could totally be one of the  reasons. Now known, they are going to be studied with care, to further improve the yield  rate of perovskite. The idea is to produce the most profitable solar panels possible in order  to increase their power tenfold. With a rate of 22% today, an installation of 10mc2 of solar  panels will produce between 2.5 and 4 kWh per day. We can imagine that this figure could  double or triple in the years to come and fill many more needs than today. 

The bio air conditioning: 

This brand new solution does not emit greenhouse gasses. Indeed, it uses a new technology  based on the phenomenon of water evaporation. 

When water evaporates, i.e. when it changes from a liquid to a gas, it consumes calories,  which causes a natural lowering of the temperature in the vicinity. The devices of bio-air  conditioning reproduce this phenomenon, called hydrocooling, to refresh the ambient air of  an interior or exterior space. 

The bio-air conditioning presents then many strong points: 

-Works without motor and without compressor, allowing it to be an inexpensive technology -Allows a low energy consumption 

-it avoids the use of refrigerant gasses producing greenhouse effect 

-Less noise than a traditional air conditioner 

-does not require any installation work

Rainwater harvesting: 

To recover rainwater is a very interesting gesture. Beyond being ecological, it is also  economical. 

Indeed, within a household, 45% of the water that we consume does not need to be  drinkable. 

Rainwater has a low mineralization and a slightly acidic pH. However, flowers and vegetables  appreciate when the water has a certain acidity, and will be more beautiful! 

Recovered rainwater can thus be used for different purposes: 

-wash the car 

-watering the garden 

-the toilet

What are the values/innovations on which it may be interesting to bet for the  future?  

The environment and ecology sector represents a large part of the investments of world renowned groups. For example, L’oréal invests about 1 billion euros each year in the  research and development of new environmentally friendly products. 

It is therefore necessary to know the main actors and their will beyond their investments. There are several rankings that list the most sustainable companies. Let’s take a look at the Global 100.

This ranking, initiated by Corporate Knights, classifies companies according to 4 criteria: 
  • Firstly, their environmental performance 
  • Secondly, their economic performance 
  • Thirdly, their products 
  • Lastly, the number of sanctions and compensations that the company has had to pay in environmental matters. 

We notice that companies unknown to the general public come out on top, such as Biogen Idec and Allergan. 

The amount of money injected in these companies is then more and more important as well  as the money injected in new technologies to make the life in the houses less polluting. Ecology is at the very center of the transformation and evolution of the economy as the  following diagram shows the increase in the number of jobs in the environmental industry 

Written by Charles Gregoire & Edited by Avhan Misra

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How Can I Make My Home Climate Friendly?