You are here: I want an Eco-house but don't know where to start?

With energy bills set to rise over the next 10 years, it is not surprising that more and more homebuyers are looking to buy green.

Eco-homes are cheaper to run, with lower carbon emissions and they are better for the environment. After one of the hottest years on record, climate change is back on everyone’s agenda and with it, a renewed commitment from government and leading developers to deliver more zero carbon homes. A new study by the World Green Building Council, the World Green Building Trends 2018 SmartMarket Report, predicts the number of eco-homes being built in the UK will rise by 60 per cent over the next three years.


But where are they and how do you get one? Many of the UK’s top homebuilders are already committed to reducing emissions by developing their own style of eco-house.

In Hunslet, south Leeds, developer Citu is building the UK’s biggest urban sustainable development called the Climate Innovation District. Combining Scandinavian design with the latest in sustainable technology, they are building 700 new homes designed to be 10 times more efficient than the average modern UK home. With timber frames, lower heat transmittance insulation and air tight rooms, the new Citu homes will also have rainwater collection and green solar powered roofs to massively reduce their carbon footprint.

In Bicester, developer Fabrica is building the UK’s first eco-town called Elmsbrook with up to 6,000 ‘zero carbon’ homes. These have highly insulated cladding, triple glazing, rainwater harvesting, solar panels and a combined heat and power unit.

In south London, housebuilder Lendlease is in partnership with Southwark Council to build 3,000 new homes that will be 35 per cent more energy efficient than current regulations require.

The increasing number of sustainable developments means finding an eco-home has never been easier. If you want something a bit more bespoke, there are now specific search websites such as Green Moves dedicated to finding eco properties for sale. If you want to build your own eco-home, find a builder that has the same outlook as you or who is signed up to the Passivhaus standard, a leading international design benchmark to make new builds greener and more energy efficient.

The Passivhaus standard is designed to deliver comfort, quality and running costs in any building.  Homes are designed to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. By using very high levels of insulation, high performance windows with insulated frames, airtight building fabric, thermal bridge free construction and a mechanical ventilation system with highly efficient heat recovery, Passivhaus homes are helping the housing industry achieve 80 per cent carbon reductions.

However, the biggest barriers to environmentally friendly homes in the UK are still high land values, a lack of demand from home buyers and the perception that eco-building costs more than traditional construction.

As developers and designers work towards the UK’s national target for an 80 per cent reduction in emissions by 2050, these perceptions will start to shift as more and more people realise they can have a home that is both environmentally friendly and money saving.

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