Why Sustainable Homes Are the Future

Sustainable HomesDemanding targets mean that older buildings just aren’t up to scratch

Countries across the world are introducing very strict emissions targets in order to reduce the impact they have upon the environment. Nearly every industry is being affected by these targets, and construction is no different. Sustainable and eco-friendly buildings are going to be absolutely essential if targets are to be met.

Emissions Must Drop by More than Half

The Government’s Green Construction Board, a UK panel of experts has recently come to the conclusion that if the UK is to meet its ambitious targets, building emissions must be cut by a huge 77%. Currently, emissions are at around 200 million tonnes per year, having dropped by 30 million in the past two decades. This will need to be slashed to 46 million to meet 2050 targets.

The main cause of emissions is not industrial buildings; it is simply that domestic heating is at its worst very inefficient. The government has introduced all manner of incentives in order to encourage homeowners to boost the efficiency of their homes, but this can only go so far. A large proportion of homes in the UK are old, and bringing them up to the same levels as new builds is not always worthwhile in terms of costs, time and benefits gained. Such buildings cannot continue to be the norm if targets are to be met.

Efficiency through Innovative Design

The answer then, is in the building of new homes and sustainable buildings. They are being and must be built with efficiency in mind at every opportunity. There are countless different ways in which homes can be designed to be more eco-friendly, and designers are thinking of ever more innovative ideas. One such idea is the green wall; a wall covered entirely in vegetation. While the concept isn’t actually new at all, the implementation with the environment in mind is. The plants help keep buildings cool, but can also be used to help purify water.

Insulation is one of the primary concerns, because loss of heat is one of the main ways in which houses are uneconomical. The more heat that can be kept in, the less heating required, meaning lower energy use and lower emissions.

It’s likely that regulators will begin to bring in strict rules on the construction of new homes in order to meet the target deadlines.