Baby it’s cold outside, which is why tenants want homes to keep them warm and toasty and have the least impact on the environment. We look at how the sector mixes green credentials with stylish sustainability.
Hitting eco targets
There’s calls for legislation to be in force by 2025 to make new homes more energy efficient. Part of the regulations are geared towards insulating properties better and making them more airtight. Build to Rent developers look at ways to retain energy through improved design of windows, increased ventilation, and better insulation. This will require builders to embrace the latest technologies and use the buildings thermal mass to best effect.
What renters want
Tenants are keen to live in homes that offer smart technology, are well managed and maintained and they are also interested in sustainability issues. Not only are renters interested in saving energy in their homes, but they also want to do more for the environment although it must fit into their lifestyle and be convenient. Younger tenants are especially clued up and keen to do their bit to reduce their carbon emissions.
The benefits of eco rental homes
As well as being better for the environment, an eco-friendly home has many benefits for the tenant also.
- Reduction in energy bills – renewable solutions such as solar power will reduce the monthly utility bills. By using natural or renewable resources to convert and store energy, the homes will be more energy efficient also, so you won’t have to keep cranking up the thermostat.
- Durable design – sustainable materials often require less maintenance over time and will look better for longer. This will keep homes looking in excellent condition and reduce the need for constant renovation, minimising the amount of household waste in landfill. Green smart homes age better than traditional homes with eco-friendly living building materials being tougher and able to withstand the elements better.
- Increased comfort – a cold home is depressing and can lead to sickness. Eco-friendly homes offer much higher levels of insulation giving a consistent temperature in every room of the home.
What millennials are looking for
According to research from The Guardian, more than two thirds of millennials buy as many eco-friendly products as they can. In a recent survey, 66% of global respondents say that they are willing to pay more for products and services which come from companies that are committed to a positive social and environmental impact. The Build to Rent industry is in a unique position to lead the market in sustainability and building longevity with their ethos to create homes that tenants really want to live in.
Many Build to Rent developers use eco-friendly materials that are non-toxic, better for the health of the resident and not harmful to the environment. Green, smart homes have better air quality, which reduces the risk of sickness and allergies. Build to Rent developers understand the need to create a flow of air and good air quality in shared spaces, particularly important today now we all understand how quickly viruses can spread
Homes of the future
When creating a new development, designers and builders are constantly looking at ways to work with the environment and use resources efficiently. Tenants are aware of the benefits of eco-homes so whether it is swapping old lightbulbs for cost and energy-efficient ones or creating a green oasis on the roof space to reduce surface temperature and insulate the building below, the homes of the future must all feature green credentials.
What to look for in a green smart home?
If you’ve already decided that your next home should be a green smart home, here are some things to look out for.
- Insulation – double-glazed windows and floor, ceiling and water pipe insulation are some of the key things to look out for.
- Benefits: a home that is properly insulated will reduce your cooling and heating costs. It will also be much more comfortable to live in year-round and being well insulated contributes to sound proofing the home too.
- Rainwater harvesting system – if the development has a garden or green areas, find out if tanks are installed underground or above ground or perhaps there is a pump and filter to use harvested rainwater inside and outside.
- Benefits: as well as keeping the garden watered in the summer, harvested rainwater can be used to flush your toilet and supply the washing machine.
- Heat pump or solar geyser - both options provide you with hot water, saving on water and electricity.
- Benefits: hot water is available on tap, reducing the need to run the water until it reaches the right temperature.
- Eco-friendly fixtures – whether it is bamboo countertops or reclaimed wooden floors there are many beautiful materials that can be given a second life in a newly built home.
- Benefits: each piece of furniture or material will be able to give your home a unique look and you will know that you have limited the impact on the environment.