The sustainable house: eco homes for a brighter tomorrow

What defines today’s sustainable home? It entails a sensible, measured use of natural resources with an eye to preserving them for the future. Longer-lasting green buildings offer benefits for developers, investors and homeowners alike; here’s a closer look at how this works.

The benefits of sustainable homes

Building a green home begins with selecting naturally cost-efficient materials, saving time and money with durable bamboo flooring, long-lasting wool fibre carpeting and low-flow plumbing to conserve water. Many sustainable house plans utilise advanced framing techniques to reduce material and labour costs, using less wood in the process than a traditional construction strategy would consume. For homeowners, purchasing a sustainable building reduces energy bills through the use of superior insulation, LED lighting and smart appliances.

Sustainable house designs may also be healthier for you. Crafted from organic, natural materials, they’ll reduce your chance of breathing in plastic-based carcinogens, toxic laminate glues or mould spores caused by poor insulation. An abundance of natural lighting is an instant mood-booster, not to mention the feel-good factor that comes with doing your part from the environment. And from a purely financial perspective, sustainable home designs are attractive to buyers due to their efficiency and character, meaning you can increase resale value with a few simple improvements.

Ways in which properties can be sustainable

There are many factors involved in green building design, from energy efficiency to building materials. While there are localised rating systems like the UK's Energy Performance Certificate, a globally recognised standard in sustainable construction is LEED certification. An accredited LEED green associate is a trusted first port of call for the most up-to-date advice in sustainable real estate. One of the simplest ways to incorporate a green building concept right from the start is by using eco-friendly building materials. Ready to renovate? Look for reclaimed wooden boards, cork and recycled worktops crafted from refurbished glass or aluminium. Natural lighting is a must-have element in sustainable architecture, whether you’re installing solar panels or floor-to-ceiling windows to maximise the sunshine. When artificial lighting is installed, sustainable home designs will incorporate LED lighting in place of conventional bulbs to reduce energy use.

Eco-friendly homes can be marked as much by what they don’t have as what they do – they’ll be free from VOC-laden paints and chemical-rich plastic materials. Draughts in the home can have a significant impact on heating efficiency, and can be eliminated with effective insulation. Natural foliage will also play a part in the eco homes of tomorrow, whether it’s installation of a green roof or landscaping your garden with native plant life.

Whether you’re in search of more ways to make your existing property more efficient or are interested in investing in climate-neutral buildings, read on for sustainable lifestyle inspiration.

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