Net-zero buildings – carbon-neutral dwellings that generate enough clean energy to cancel out the energy they use – are not just a growing trend. From rooftop solar systems and energy-efficient appliances to geothermal heating and thicker insulation, net-zero is all about keeping energy in and using (or loosing) as little as possible. From homes to hotel chains, more builders are incorporating these elements into their designs as property owners become increasingly aware of their carbon footprint.
Central in the push toward net-zero is sustainable design, also known as ‘green design,’ which employs various strategies to lessen the damaging effects construction and housing design can have on the environment, human health and comfort. Many builders and developers are hungry for cost-efficient ways to implement energy-savings, whether it comes in the form of higher-rated building materials, WaterSense-rated shower heads, or ENERGY STAR-rated appliances.
Heated towel racks, which can reduce the amount of water and energy spent laundering towels and other damp clothing, fit nicely into the green design equation. While they have been popular for decades in Europe – where energy rates are higher and home dryers are less prevalent – heated towel racks can add a unique, functional and modish accent to buildings in the North American market.
Heated towel racks are a sustainable and stylish design option for any bathroom, mudroom or laundry room and lower both electricity and water use by quickly and efficiently drying towels. These savings are important considering about 10 percent of a home’s total electricity costs is attributed to laundry use – while an average-sized heated rack only uses as much electricity as a few lightbulbs.
Using a heated towel rack, like one from Amba Products, can also be beneficial for air quality and eliminating the conditions for microbial growth. Towels left on a non-heated holder will eventually start growing mildew and develop an unpleasant odor. This is especially common in bathrooms without windows and areas without sufficient ventilation. Installing heated towel racks in guest bathrooms is a proactive step hotels can take to help busy hotel patrons reduce the moisture and maintain the air quality.
Savvy builders and developers are aware of the fact that Generation-Y, Generation-Z, and millennial homebuyers are no longer content with being passive consumers. With more information at their fingertips than ever, homeowners and renters realize their actions impact the environment. As consumers demand more green design, product manufacturers and sellers can work hand-in-hand with developers to meet this growing need.
Green design is sometimes perceived as costly and challenging to implement, but it can actually be very affordable. Heated towel racks are one way to help developers make a sustainable choice that won’t break the bank.