The green credentials of new-build homes

The green credentials of new-build homes

By Nic Hopkirk

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Super energy-efficient with A+ rated appliances, triple glazed and well-insulated. Let's take a look at the eco-credentials of new-build homes.

New-build homes are more eco-friendly than their more traditional counterparts.

That’s because they’re designed to use a lot less energy, meaning your bills will be cheaper too.

Here’s why buying a new-build home might just be one of the best things you ever did to help the environment.

New-build homes consume less energy

Thanks to new stringent regulations, new homes are on average 60% more energy efficient than period homes. 

According to the Home Builders Federation, new-build home owners save an average of £629 a year on energy bills.

That’s a lot of money that could be spent on something a lot more fun.

How do they do it?

For one thing, new-build homes are built with cavity wall insulation. 

Essentially that means the gaps between the inner and outer walls of your home are filled with things like mineral wool, polystyrene beads or polyurethane foam.

This helps to store heat in your home, bouncing it back into your rooms rather than allowing it to escape through draughts. 

New-build homes also use high-efficiency heating systems to help to cut down on carbon emissions - and your energy costs. 

And there’s more…

Double or triple glazing, low energy lighting and dual flushes to reduce water usage are installed in many properties as standard.

And when it comes to kitchen appliances, home builders will select A+ rated goods to keep energy consumption to a minimum.

It’s all about location, location location

A new build family home in Surrey

Many new-build developments are established close to good public transport links, as it’s in a developer’s interest to appeal to those who might need to commute.

The ability to work from home has opened up the housing landscape, making living further afield a more possible option.

Many housebuilders have recognised this, and new-build developments near small villages with local train stations allow you to enjoy a more rural lifestyle, while keeping you connected with office life.

House developers have also made it their business to include eco-friendly considerations into their landscaping and planning. 

Tree planting, the creation of bee and bird-friendly environments and even hedgehog highways can be found in rural developments.

In fact, re-wilding the local landscape is increasingly becoming a key focus among many developers, who aim to measurably add to and improve the natural spaces around new homes to encourage birds and wildlife to flourish.  

New-builds are plugged into the future of transport

Aside from being situated close to local transport links, many new-build developments feature bike storage and electric car charging points as standard.

In fact in 2022, car charging points became a legal requirement for all new-build homes.

That means from now on, 145,000 electric car charging points will be created every year.

With petrol and diesel cars being banned by 2030, this will go a long way in helping the UK transition to a world with less fumes and pollution.

New-builds use Modern Methods of Construction

Using Modern Methods of Construction (or MMC) basically means building lots of the parts of a new-build development off-site, away from where the development is happening.

Instead ready-made walls, floors, roofs and even entire rooms are built in factories away from the site, and then transported to their end destination for assembly.

This means any on-site waste is virtually eliminated. And any waste that is produced from these elements of the build can be controlled and recycled. 

Modern Methods of Construction also help to limit the site noise and dust produced by on-site cutting and cleaning, since this bit happens in a controlled environment somewhere else.

Looking to the future: no more reliance on fossil fuels

By 2025, gas heating in all new-build homes is set to come to an end. 

Gas boilers will be replaced by renewable heating systems in all new-builds, as part of the government’s plans to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

Currently, 85% of UK homes use gas boilers to heat their homes. But alternatives are now coming into play, including heat pumps, heat networks, hydrogen boilers and electric radiators.