Posts filed under ‘Eco-friendly’
An eco-friendly property has many benefits, writes Morris Homes’ managing director Chris Lilley.
As energy prices continue to rise, finding a property that is energy efficient is moving higher up the list of priorities for buyers who want to minimise their monthly payments, writes Chris Lilley, managing director of Morris Homes.
In addition to wanting to reduce living costs, buyers are also becoming more socially aware of the impact that their choices are having on the environment. From choosing more eco-friendly cars to diligently recycling household waste, we’re all aware of the need to reduce our energy consumption.
The UK’s largest carbon village in Peterborough – Vista – was launched to help identify new solutions for building homes that are not only environmentally friendly, but are stylish and affordable for buyers. The development was recently named as the Best Low or Zero Carbon Initiative at the Housebuilder awards.
Inside, the properties at Vista look no different to any new home. They’re spacious, light, warm, comfortable, and designed around modern lifestyles.
However, under the skin of the properties is a range of energy-saving technology designed to reduce carbon emissions by 74 per cent compared to a similar sized property and help buyers save up to £310 per year on their energy bills (based on final As-Designed SAP calculations and British Gas energy prices in January 2013).
For example, every home has solar panels to generate electricity, a rainwater harvesting system to provide water for flushing toilets, and an advanced boiler that recovers and recycles waste heat.
The commitment to the environment continues outside of the properties, with a dedicated composting area, bicycle storage and recycling facilities installed at every property to encourage residents to live a more sustainable lifestyle. There are also 2.7 acres of public gardens and wetlands around the development to reduce the impact on the biodiversity of the site.
To help residents further reduce their carbon footprint every buyer also receives a £250 voucher to buy a bicycle, or a six-month bus pass.
All of these measures will also help towards the Government’s target of reducing carbon emissions from UK homes by 29 per cent by 2020.
Vista was launched last year, and the first buyers have now moved into their properties. Buyers have already told us that their energy bills to date have been dramatically reduced compared to their previous homes.
We’ve now moved on to the next phase of the site and have recently launched a selection of four-bedroom homes to encourage families to move to Vista for a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.
The search to find Britain’s Greenest Home came to an end earlier this week when the winner of a national competition, sponsored by FindaProperty.com, was announced.
And, although on the day the prize went to a modest semi-detached bungalow in Gloucestershire, the stars of the accolade were really its owners Glenn and Frances Simpson, extraordinary people who have put being green at the heart of their daily life.
We took the train (of course!) to drop in on the couple, who are both in their early 50s and live on the outskirts of Cheltenham – but who don’t fit the customary ‘green’ label.
The winners of competitions like this are often either ‘eco warriors’ or rich home owners keen to show off their expensively green credentials; but the Simpsons don’t fit either mould.
Rather, they are a gently-spoken, modest working couple who are passionate about reducing their environmental footprint and who have made small but numerous changes to their lives to achieve it.
So, on a sweltering day Glenn and Frances were given the obligatory comedy cheque (see pic, below) handed over by TV weather forecaster Michael Fish representing competition main sponsor HomeSun and one of our team, property analyst Nigel Lewis.
The assembled crowd of sponsors and journalists keen to interview the couple were acutely aware just how un-green all our lifestyles were by comparison. Like most people, all of us admitted to separating our rubbish and maybe using a compost bin but Glenn and Frances have considered every aspect of their home life – and beyond – from an environmentally-friendly perspective.
Highlights include the five water butts in the garden (the main element of their rain harvesting system), wall cavities stuffed with sheep’s wool within their home and eco bulbs throughout plus the obligatory loft insulation.
Two points Glenn made that struck us as particularly super-green were his car – he’s taken the back seats out to lower the vehicle’s fuel consumption – and their rubbish. The couple’s lifestyle is so green that they only put out their traditional rubbish bin once a month, not weekly.
So what will they be spending their £3,000 first prize on? Glenn says he wants to put feed-in-tariff solar panels to his roof to further help reduce his already miniscule energy bills, which are just £400 a year and make his home, in theory at least, carbon negative.