Fans of Grand Designs will already know all about the UK's new-found love for eco-friendly houses. These properties are designed to be more energy-efficient, saving you money on your bills (while also doing a world of good for the environment).
If you want to explore a more eco lifestyle — or you’re just curious about how some people have learned to live life on the greener side — there are plenty of options around the UK. From living on the edge of a wildlife conservation area to sustainable living in the heart of the capital, there’s a lot to choose from.
And living an eco-lifestyle can have a lot of benefits, for the planet and for your wallet. Here’s where to start your eco journey.
There’s no denying that the whole world is going greener — and that’s a good thing. "
With views over the stunning Box Moor wildlife conservation area, The Beacon is being touted as the world's most sustainable development. Residents won't have any energy bills to pay: electricity is generated by solar panels and hot water is provided from ground source heat pumps.
The Wintles was one of the first projects developed by The Living Village Trust, which has been key in developing eco-friendly villages across the UK. Homes in the Wintles are powered by solar, have wood-burning stoves and large south-facing windows — which provide plenty of natural light and heat.
It's also a simply stunning place to live, especially if you love spending time in the outdoors. The village also has areas of shared woodland, orchards and allotments, which add greenery to the area and help reduce its carbon output.
When this sustainable community was completed by Bioregional in 2002, it was at the forefront of eco-home technology. It has 100 homes and communal facilities such as a college, co-working space and on-site car club. The properties sell for 5-10% more than similar-sized homes in the area — which can seem like a lot. But it's estimated that residents save £3,258 a year compared to the average London household, showing it pays to go green.
You don’t need to find a pre-built community to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Eco-home developments are understandably in high demand, so a lot of people choose to buy a plot of land and build their own. It’s easier than you think. Environmentally-friendly modular homes (also known as ‘pre-fabs’) are a quick and cheap way to do this, with companies like Green Unit and Dwelle creating stylish properties with great green credentials.
Another option is to retrofit your home to match PassivHaus standards, which is one way to make your property appeal to eco-friendly buyers.
There’s no denying that the whole world is going greener — and that’s a good thing. Whether you’re looking for small changes that you can make or going all-in for an eco-friendly lifestyle, there are so many ways to live more sustainably. And now, the real estate industry is taking notice — we expect to see a lot more green-friendly areas in the future. Better for your wallet, better for the environment.