Anyone involved in the property industry especially within the development stage has a responsibility to factor in the environment. After all, the lifespan of a home does not end when a buyer has been secured. Instead, every effort must be made to reduce the environmental impact of the building itself, along with all those who will use it for as long as it stands.
To achieve this aim, the home needs to be designed with the latest in renewable technology. Doing so will give the property the best chance of remaining as eco-friendly as possible since comprehensive improvements will not need to be made to bring it in line with current environmental targets.
In recent years, the renewables market has expanded at a lightning pace. Here are some of the top renewable energy picks to consider for anyone involved in the home building or buying process.
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Geothermal heat pumps
Even the most energy-efficient boilers are no match for geothermal heat pumps, which are soon to become a more regular feature, especially in new build homes. Geothermal heat pumps harness the heat from under the ground to provide heat in the winter and cool air in the summer.
They are far friendlier for the environment since they don’t primarily run on an external fuel source, unlike boilers which are usually powered by the gas network. Whatsmore, geothermal heat pumps also generate far lower energy bills and are also safer versus gas boilers which can be prone to safety faults.
New build homes are particularly ideal candidates for the installation of geothermal heat pumps as ground excavation is required. Therefore, it’s far easier to install a geothermal heat pump when building a home from scratch versus trying to adapt an older property. As boilers eventually become phased out, expect the demand for geothermal heat pumps to soar.
Solar roof tiles
Solar roof panels have long been the gold standard for renewable energy, particularly in older homes. However, Tesla founder Elon Musk has now developed solar roof tiles, which take the technology one step further, by integrating the ability to harness solar power within the roof tile itself.
The launch is expected imminently, with homeowners currently able to put down a deposit on Tesla roof tiles. As you might expect, the cost far exceeds that of a regular roof and even solar panels, costing £16.71 per square foot. However, given a new roof can last decades, the technology will pay for itself over time.
Solar water heating
Roofs aren’t just capable of heating our rooms but our water too. Solar water heating can either be supplied by evacuated tubes that are placed over the existing roof tiles or fixed place collectors, which can also be placed on the roof or integrated into the roof space itself.
Solar water heating systems work best during the summer months, like a boiler or geothermal heat pump is required for the winter months. As with any solar technology, developers can maximise the overall carbon footprint by ensuring the roofs with the solar technology are south facing.
By also minimising any north-facing developments wherever possible, this will also mean living spaces feel less cold in general, which will reduce the need to heat them.
Electric Vehicle Charging Points
While it’s easy to focus on energy efficiency changes within the home itself, what about getting to and from your home?
It’s no secret that diesel vehicles are on their way out, in line with efforts to combat climate change. By 2025, it’s estimated that 20% of vehicles will be electric. Expect that number to shoot up sharply once the diesel ban comes into force in 2030.
Of course, without the traditional petrol station to go to, we are all going to need a way of charging our vehicles. Making what once seemed like something out of The Jetsons a reality, electric vehicle charging points are expected to become a popular feature outside of most homes. There have even been suggestions that lampposts could be converted to be able to hold electric vehicle charging points.
So, it makes sense that developers should integrate electric car charging stations outside their properties wherever possible. Extra bonus points if the charging station is powered by a renewable energy source such as solar or wind power, reducing the carbon footprint of the property’s occupants even further.
Aaron Cambden, Co-Founder of East Midlands estate agents Fairview Estates - https://www.fairviewestates.co.uk/
Fairview Estates is based in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire. It provides a range of services to landlords and tenants alike, including property management services. With over 10 years in business, Fairview Estates is a small friendly team providing a tailored experience to the local property market, that is becoming ever more a rarity in the age of digital-only listings.
As well as running Fairview Estates, Aaron has also recently co-founded Keyhive, which is a revolutionary key monitoring system for landlords and letting agents.