Best Industries 2012: Residential Construction | 5 Trends in Green Homebuilding

Courtesy Eric Roth
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Energy-Efficient Design

Green homes start with an eco-friendly design. Architects create a floor plan that makes a home as energy-efficient as possible, whether that's making a more compact space, or incorporating solar panels or superinsulation. At ZeroEnergy Design, managing director and co-founder Stephanie Horowitz says they design a house to make sure they "squeeze every inch of energy out of it as we can." The firm’s projects typically use 60-80% less energy than conventional houses.