Jerry Newman's San Antonio, TX Blog 210-789-4216: The Future Is Now: Green Features You May Have in Your Next Home!

The Future Is Now: Green Features You May Have in Your Next Home!

The future of home building is coming, and increasingly that means a new era in residential construction: homes designed to combat global warming and conserve resources—or even generate energy all on their own. Rooftops covered with vegetation, homes built with solar-powered materials, and electric vehicle charging stations are just some of the brand-new features that should bedeck structures in the near future.

Those may sound like they’re straight out of the pages of the latest sci-fi bestseller, but these features aren’t just pipe dreams, they represent the cutting edge in home building—designs that are slowly being integrated into new houses today. So what green features are you likely to see in your future home? Let's find out at Home Improvement Leads, who offer solar leads to quality solar contractors.

New Green Features of the FutureBuilding integrated photovoltaics

Most energy experts agree: solar will become a much more popular energy source in the future, and homes are already being designed with that idea in mind. In that spirit, many developers have ditched retrofitted solar panels in favor of building integrated photovoltaics, a design theory wherein solar cells are contained directly within building materials. In building integrated photovoltaics, architects consider a home’s potential solar sources as they build, constructing energy harvesting centers in glass panels, skylights, and facades, rather than just on rooftops. That building philosophy is being helped by an emerging technology, namely, a new type of solar system. It’s known as organic photovoltaics, where small solar cells are distributed in glass, or as coatings around materials, rather than housed solely in bulky panels, allowing for more flexible, adaptable structures.

Electric vehicle charging stations

What good is a green home if you’re still driving a gas guzzler? There’s been a push in recent years to bulk up infrastructure to accommodate electric vehicle charging stations, and in some places, new homes are leading the charge. For instance, Quebec is considering restrictions that would require new residential construction to be built EV-ready—in other words, to come complete with 30-ampere plug-in stations contained in garages. That move is not without precedent. The city of Palo Alto, California already enacted a similar law that mandated EV charging stations. If that trend continues, you can expect more homes built to support cleaner cars.

Net-zero homes

A popular trend in new homes is the appearance of the “net-zero” house—a structure that generates as much power as it consumes. That idea is made possible due to advances in renewable energy, which allow residential systems to harvest and generate electricity, as well as efficiency upgrades in home appliances, lighting, and heating and cooling. Houses billed as net-zero are often designed not only with solar panels, but with automated lighting controls, smart thermostats, and electric vehicle charging stations, that all work together to lower resident’s overall carbon footprint. Net-zero communities are an emerging trend in home building all over the globe, from Australia to the UK to California to Japan.

Net Zero HomesSmart glass

Windows are some of the most vulnerable parts of our homes—drafty and outdated openings lower heating and cooling efficiency significantly by letting conditioned air escape through gaps, and allowing solar heat to enter the home through the glass. Smart glass is the latest iteration in a wave of improved window technologies. It’s temperature- and light-reactive, allowing it to sense changes in heat and sunlight electronically, and adjust tints accordingly. The trend in the window market right now is to target inefficiencies in glass, since many homes have already installed energy-saving features like double-pane windows and insulated frames. Looking even further into the future, experts predict that smart glass may even one day interact with WiFi connected devices like smartphones, serving as a makeshift projection screen for day-to-day computing—so expect big things in the future of residential windows.

Living roofs

We sometimes tend to view ecology and technology as opposites, but living roofs are one trend that disproves that false dichotomy. Living, or green roofs, which are partially covered by vegetation and plants, are one potential design solution that may help ease pollution and heat-island intensity in large, densely-populated urban spaces. Traditional sod roofs have been used in home building since antiquity, but this takes that idea and repackages it for city dwelling, where urban developers are hoping to maximize beneficial features that not only improve air quality, but also take advantage of passive heating and cooling from shaded rooftops to keep building energy use low, as well. Living roofs are also naturally insulating, and can even be used to grow local edibles, so one day you might not have to do much more than reach out the window to get fresh ingredients for your salad—and that’s the kind of trend we can definitely get behind!

Article and photos by Erin Vaughan of

If you're thinking about buying a home with some of these nice green features, contact Jerry at 210-789-4216, let me introduce you to some local builders, who are building with many green features in their homes. Many of them have also have those energy efficient appliances that will help reduce those utility bills during the hot summer months and those cold winters. You may also visit my website at Homes For Sale in San Antonio at your convenience.

Inventory is low this summer, so now is the time to find out How Much Your Home is Worth in San Antonio and all the surrounding areas. Let's get your home on the market while more buyers are shopping for that new home before school starts again. June was a terrific month for existing home sales, and we are expecting an even stronger sales for the month of July. Check out the Market Insider Reports to see what is going on in your community and neighbor.

As more and more folks are exploring the opportunities and the advantages of green building, we are finding that these homes are holding value and selling at higher resale prices than those homes without any of these green features. Environmental sustainability is the way of the future, and more savvy buyers are concerned with products that support the pillars of sustainability.

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Jerry Newman, REALTOR®

US Army Retired

Military Relocation Professional

Brown Realty

900 NE Loop 410 Suite D303

San Antonio, TX 78209

Direct 210-789-4216


Helping and Serving the real estate needs of buyers and sellers in the Greater San Antonio, Bexar County, and all the surrounding areas.

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Comment balloon 12 commentsJerry Newman • July 19 2016 03:16PM


Very informative article, thank you for sharing. It's important that anyone connected to our industry understand these developments as they occur. 

Posted by Cody Carmen, Market Analysis--Educational Content, Adhi Schools (Adhi Schools, LLC) over 4 years ago

While I am not a "Save the Earth" person (I'll leave that up to Jesus) I do appreciate features that are cost effective. The first thing I thought of when you mentioned growing veggies on the roof was that the early settlers did this a couple hundred years ago.

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor (Ward County Notary Services) over 4 years ago

I remember 15 years ago developers asked what extra value It would add to the sales price and in those day you would be lucky to get 10% more it is a different world now..Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) over 4 years ago

Yes, being informed and knowledgeable of who is building green is very beneficial to our clients, who are interested in home improvements. Thanks.

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, over 4 years ago

Yes, Bob. I agree that the world is in the Lord's hands. It seems like those early settlers had the right idea. More and more are searching and looking for green ideas for their homes. Have a Blessed Week! 

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, over 4 years ago

Yes, Endre. It's a different world today. More green products in today's hones are adding value and they are worth more for resales. Have a Blessed Week!

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, over 4 years ago

Those are definitely green homes and the trends are moving more and more in that direction, Jerry.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties, The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730 (Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070) over 4 years ago

Jerry, Thanks for giving all of us a look into the future of hoime design and building. I think I like the net-zero home the best. 

Posted by Robert Bob Gilbert, Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties) over 4 years ago

Yes, Debbie Reynolds I am seeing more and more folks inquiring and going Green. It is the wave of the future.

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, over 4 years ago

Hi Bob, the Net Zero Homes are very beneficial and it helps with lowering utility bills.

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, over 4 years ago

Hi Jerry -- thanks for sharing the interesting information about the power of going green.  Let's see what the next decade brings to the world of building.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 over 4 years ago

Hi Michael, I can only imagine how much more advanced it'll be in a few more years.

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, over 4 years ago

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