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Creating an Eco-Friendly House: Embracing Sustainable Living in the UK

3 February 2024
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AUTHOR
Eugene Kim

Table of Contents

The Importance of Sustainable Homes

As our awareness of global warming and climate change has grown, so has the importance of embracing eco-friendly practices in every aspect of our lives, including the design of our homes. But what exactly does “eco-friendly” mean when it comes to home design? And how can we, as individuals within our local communities, make meaningful contributions to the environment through our housing choices? Join us as we talk about creating Eco-Friendly Houses & Embracing Sustainable Living in the UK, exploring practical ways to minimise our environmental impact while maximising comfort and energy efficiency in our homes.

Join us as we talk about creating Eco-Friendly Houses & Embracing sustainable living in the UK, exploring practical ways to minimise our environmental impact while maximising comfort and energy efficiency in our homes.

Embracing Renewable Energy

Through the decades, we as busy humans, have been prioritising technological advancements over environmental responsibility by exploiting natural resources. This is a call for humans, as the average homeowner, to start small yet set big targets to make a positive impact for not only the environment but also for our future generations! 

In an age where environmental consciousness is more important than ever, many homeowners are confronted with the challenge of making their home more sustainable.The concept of an eco-friendly house is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. However, the journey to transforming a traditional home into a sustainable haven can be quite confusing. There are numerous advanced technologies available today and with new gizmos and gadgets constantly hitting the market, it can be quite tricky to stay informed. Rather than chasing a new trend, learning about sustainable methods such as solar panels, PV panels or heat pumps can empower us to make good decisions for our homes that enhance efficiency and can save you thousands in the long run.

What is an Eco-Friendly Housing

From the choice of building materials to the integration of green technologies, every aspect is carefully considered to ensure your home is as eco-friendly as it is beautiful. 

Eco – Friendly Housing, as the name suggests, is an approach of creating residences using renewable resources, energy-efficient techniques, and sustainable materials, hence minimising the environmental impact. 

Extension Architecture’s Expertise: With over 13 years of experience in the field, Extension Architecture has advanced their knowledge about appropriate building materials, green technologies and efficient fixture choices, all within working under the set budgets! Backed with project managers LEED Green Associates, architects and technicians holding great knowledge about BREEAM principles, Extension Architecture can help deliver you an eco-friendly and enduring house that stands the test of time.

What simple construction and fitting choices can make a big change?

When we speak about eco-friendly living, we are not only targeting new-build projects but also extension and conversion projects that can improve the quality of life and environment. A few ways to do so are:

Energy Efficiency – Simply switching from the conventional incandescent lamps to LED/CFLs and using sensor lighting equipment can create a huge positive impact. Though the initial costs for LED and CFLs is more, they require less maintenance and have a longer lifespan. Replacing conventional heating or radiators with underfloor heating is also an excellent way to promote energy efficiency within homes. Radiators often push around moisture resulting in mould formation and dampness leading to reduced air quality. 

Water Conservation – Installing water-efficient fixtures like dual-flush toilets, low consumption sanitary ware through renovations are some ways to conserve water within a residence, hence promoting eco-friendly design choices. 

Green Building Practices – Whenever working on new-build projects or opting for extensions/ conversions for your property, Extension Architecture carefully assists its clients in making eco-friendly design choices like – using earthy construction materials, planning openings through sun study, and implementing energy-efficient designs.

Popular Sustainable Technologies for Residential Homes

  • Solar Panels

Solar panels are a popular choice and have been around for quite some time now. These panels are made of semiconductor materials (i.e. silicon) and the way they work is by absorbing solar energy and generating it into electricity or heat. The UK is not considered the most bright and sunny place, but despite the gloomy weather, solar panels will still work efficiently under diffused light for your home. Solar panels for residential homes work best in south facing slopes while flat roofs requiring solar panels will always need to be tilted slightly. These panels have several advantages including reducing energy bills, and are relatively low maintenance. What’s more exciting is that there is a huge range to choose from including flexible options which can be even more versatile.

  • PV Panels

PV stands for photovoltaic panels and the way they work are slightly different to solar panels. Although PV panels are installed in the same positions as solar panels which are unshaded, south facing roof slopes, the key difference here is that PV panels convert thermal energy into electricity. They also require energy from the sun to convert electricity but do so in a slightly different way. Both solar and PV panels are good options, and one isn’t necessarily better than the other. Often a combination approach works best in London for various applications like hot water heating and energy generation.

  • Heat Pumps

Thermal heat pumps, also known as Ground Source Heat Pumps are very effective systems used for heating and cooling in buildings that use renewable energy from the ground. They are slightly pricey to install but the good news is that the government has released a UK Heat Pump Grant as of 23 October 2023 that allows homeowners to to receive up to £7,500 towards their heat pump system

Tackling the Myth of High Costs

The most challenging part in the implementation of an eco-friendly home is overcoming the myth of high costs! However, Extension architecture challenges this notion by demonstrating how sustainable solutions can be cost-effective in the long run. We choose materials, fixtures, and technologies by focusing on life-cycle costs rather than the initial costs. Our belief in recycling and upcycling old furniture and materials also reduces the negative impact on the environment and reduces the upfront costs.Through innovative designs and smart material choices, we create homes that are not only environmentally friendly but also economically viable.

Over a Decade of Sustainable Innovation

With more than 13 years of experience in the industry, Extension architecture brings a wealth of knowledge in creating eco-friendly houses. Our expertise in sustainable design and construction has enabled us to deliver projects that meet the highest standards of environmental responsibility. This experience is a testament to our commitment to helping homeowners embrace a more sustainable lifestyle.

Beyond Energy Efficiency

While energy efficiency is a key component of an eco-friendly house, Extension architecture’s approach encompasses a broader perspective. We focus on creating homes that promote overall well being – from using non-toxic, natural materials to designing spaces that enhance mental and physical health. We partner and indulge with best market practices that promote ethical and sustainable manufacturing methods. This holistic approach to sustainability is what sets their projects apart.

Conclusion: A Step Towards a Greener Future

Creating an eco-friendly house is more than a trend; it’s a step towards a sustainable and responsible way of living. With Extension architecture’s expertise and commitment to sustainability, transforming your home into an eco-friendly sanctuary is not only achievable but also rewarding. It’s about making a choice that benefits you, the environment, and future generations. Embrace the change and let Extension architecture guide you towards a greener, more sustainable future.


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AUTHOR

Eugene Kim

Eugene Kim, Founder and Managing Director of Extension Architecture, has led the firm for over 14 years, consistently delivering quality solutions. His dedication has been key to the company's growth and success.

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