We explore the benefits of buying an eco-friendly home, and round up some gorgeous properties with sustainability credentials
There isn’t an industry that hasn’t begun to put efforts into reducing its carbon footprint; the property market is no exception. Research from the Environment Agency dictates that our living accommodation accounts for 30% of the UK’s total energy usage, as well as 24% of greenhouse gas emissions and 27% of UK carbon dioxide emissions. As such, the term ‘eco-town’ is often thrown around, while eco-homes have become more prevalent on the market. There are a number of things you can do to make your current home more sustainable, but if a move is on the cards, these are the advantages of living in a more eco-friendly property.
What is an eco-home?
It pretty much says it on the tin - an eco-house is a property built with sustainability and ecological preservation at the forefront. Each will have specialist qualities that can make the property more costly initially, however going green can be very cost-effective in the long run. Some of the features that these homes have in common are:
- Higher than normal levels of insulation
- Natural materials used in the building such as timber framing, wool insulation, straw bale walls and organic paints
- Solar panels
- Triple glazing
- Wood fired central heating systems
- Rainwater collection for flushing the toilet
- Excess water collection from sinks and baths for watering the garden
- A composting toilet
- Large amounts of glazing to allow lots of daylight
- A southerly orientation so as to benefit from gaining “free” light and heat. This is normally paired with larger amounts of glazing facing south and smaller amounts to the north.
Why buy an eco-home?
Of course the desire to live a more sustainable lifestyle will be the driving force for many homebuyers. However, on top of reducing carbon emissions and saving the environment, there are tons of other benefits such as:
- High level of energy-efficiency means lower bills.
- Eco-homes are made from materials with a low environmental impact and as few harmful chemicals as possible, benefitting the health of its residents.
- Natural building materials are strong and low maintenance.
- Eco-homes try to work with the environment, promoting preservation of the surrounding area. This helps protect wildlife and water supply in the locality.
- Many eco-homes are built with waste recycling facilities which means reduced waste production.
- Water recycling helps to cut down bills and is better for the environment.
- Eco-homes are built to last and will be sustainable for many generations to come.
Are eco-homes more expensive to buy?
Not necessarily. Some have been constructed for less than the cost of a conventional home, however some will cost more. Generally speaking, the price should not be substantially different. It’s worth bearing in mind the fact that eco-homes are built to stand the test of time and will most likely hold their resale value.
Eco-homes you can view now
Upland Road, SE22 - £1,295,000 Freehold
This spectacular four-bedroom home has been designed with no expense spared. It has a number of impressive features that have been developed by a Swedish company to reduce energy consumption by 50%. These include state-of-the-art air-source heat pumps, solar heating panels to reduce water, heating and energy costs, photovoltaic panels to reduce electricity bills, energy efficient underfloor heating, and a clear glass walk-on roof window to increase natural light.
Contact Winkworth Dulwich for more information.
Caledonian Road, N1 - £675,000 Leasehold
This lovely north London apartment sits within a mews that was awarded the WhatHouse sustainable development of the year, 2016. Specifically designed by sustainability pioneer, Igloo, each property in the development boasts high-quality fixtures that contribute to energy-efficiency. These include natural materials such as quartz in the worktops and bamboo flooring, triple glazed windows, solar panels and a heat recovery system.
Contact Winkworth Islington for more information.
Foyle Road, Blackheath, SE3 - £2,500,000 Freehold
This modern five-bedroom home has been carefully built to the highest specification. Light was one of the main focuses for the architect and so the property features gorgeous roof lights and full-height velfac glazed windows which reduce the need for artificial lighting. The property has a level four code for sustainability, which is made possible by natural ventilation throughout and 3k solar panels.
Contact Winkworth Blackheath for more information.
Wooburn Green, Buckinghamshire - £560,000
Immaculately presented throughout, this bright three-bedroom property is made eco-friendly with rooftop solar panelling. Other USPs include two allocated parking spaces, double glazing and an enviable location within walking distance of shops and other amenities. New owners will love the outdoor space which is a real sun trap and perfect for hosting al fresco.
Contact Winkworth Beaconsfield for more information.
Framfield, Uckfield - £1,250,000 Freehold
The gardens and surrounding area will be a major selling point for this home in the lovely village of Framfield. The property itself is modern and exceptionally spacious, while the plot extends to over 12 acres. Buyers looking for something with sustainability brownie points will like the property for its low consumption of energy. Architects have managed to capture the charm of a beamed country house, while adding in modern, energy-saving features such as a central vacuum system and a centralised control system.
Contact Winkworth Lewes for more information.