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5 Sustainable Building Trends to Embrace This Winter


Whether your instincts about winter tell you to stick around and get cozy or to fly to warmer climates–your house doesn’t have the option to move itself. It has to endure it. Today we’re talking about 5 cutting-edge building trends that can not only stand up to the harsh Iowa winters, but also ensure your home is an energy-saving haven of warmth, and comfort for years to come.

Smart Home Integrations

If you haven’t yet jumped on the “smart home” bandwagon, the time has come. Items like smart thermostats and energy-efficient appliances can dramatically cut costs while adding convenience to your life. Imagine driving home from a long trip on a -20-degree day. It’s going to be cold when you get in. Most smart thermostats have a corresponding phone app, though, so you can raise the temperature in your house before you even get home.

Green Insulation Materials

Though we obviously recommend smart home integrations–no integration is going to replace the effectiveness of proper insulation. Fiberglass is not your only option! Sheep's wool, recycled denim, and spray foam insulations are not only eco-friendly, but they also deliver high thermal efficiency to keep the cold at bay.

Solar Power Advancements

Not long ago, the cost and inconvenience of solar panels didn’t really outweigh the benefits–especially not at the homeowner level. Solar power has come a long way in the past few years though! Not only is it becoming more accessible and powerful–the ability for contractors to integrate panels into your roofing system is making it more aesthetically pleasing as well.

High-Efficiency Windows

Even a smart thermostat isn’t going to be able to save you money when your house is leaking warmth out of low-quality windows. If closing off the world with massive, heavy draperies isn’t your ideal way of dealing with winter–never fear. From triple-glazed to thermal bridging windows, new high-efficiency window technology can retain the warmth while letting in the light.

Investing in Your Home’s “Envelope”

A home’s “envelope” is everything that forms the barrier between you and the external elements, which is especially important in a place like Iowa which can swing nearly 100 degrees over the course of a full year. When we build at Dream Homes, we examine the siding materials, roof configurations, and foundational structures to make sure they are designed to work together. This helps reduce heat loss, withstand extreme weather, and minimize maintenance.


Iowa winters can be harsh–but you and your home don’t have to suffer. By investing in winter-ready products and materials, you’ll be cozy (and save money) no matter the weather.

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