Sustainable Technologies in Construction

As climate change and environmental sustainability continue to be a major concern, many industries and companies have made the step towards sustainable and environmentally friendly practices.  The construction industry, traditionally known for its resource-intensive practices, is no different.

With consumers and homebuyers having a growing awareness of environmental issues, more developers and construction firms are incorporating eco-friendly and sustainable technologies in newly constructed homes.  In this article we look at the technologies and standards that are becoming more common in our construction industry.

Ultra-efficient Insulation

One key aspects of sustainable construction is the use of ultra-efficient insulation materials.  Insulation in homes is, of course, nothing new but now ultra-efficient insulation materials, often made from recycled or sustainable sources, are taking this to new levels.  By using these insulation materials in construction, they provide superior thermal performance and reduce energy consumption.

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), on the other hand, consist of rigid foam insulation that is fixed between two structural facings, creating a highly insulated and strong building component.  These panels are one of the most sustainable and efficient construction materials and create energy-efficient buildings for both commercial and residential purposes.  SIPs are also a quicker construction method which also creates savings.

With these efficient insulation technologies, constructors help enhance the energy efficiency of homes.  The improved insulation also helps maintain a consistent indoor temperature, reducing the reliance on heating or cooling systems.  This ultimately lowers energy bills for homeowners and in the long run, reduces the overall environmental impact.

Heat Recovery Systems

Heat recovery systems are another key technology that can help increase energy efficiency by reducing the heat lost to the environment.  These systems reuse the heat generated within a building, reducing the need for additional heating.  Typically, much of the heat produced is lost through ventilation systems, but heat recovery systems work by extracting this heat before it is expelled and using it to pre-warm incoming fresh air.

By recycling heat, these systems are minimising the environmental impact of heating systems and creating more comfortable living spaces. They also prevent heat from being wasted without sacrificing the air quality and are becoming more popular.

Solar Panels

In terms of renewable energy sources, solar panels have gained widespread attention and are a familiar add-on to many existing homes.  By harnessing the power of the sun, solar panels generate clean electricity and reduce the reliance on traditional grid power and can even become a feed to the grid.  With recent advancements in solar technology, solar panel installations have become more affordable and new solar tiles are also making their design apprearance less intrusive.

Car Charging Points

With a rapidly growing transition towards electric vehicles (EVs), there has been a rising need for accessible and convenient charging infrastructure to match this demand.  With this, many newly built homes have been incorporating car charging points into their design.  The availability of these charging stations encourages the adoption of electric vehicles, promoting a cleaner and more sustainable mode of transportation.  It also aligns with global efforts to transition to electric mobility and supports homeowners in making environmentally conscious choices.

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Passive Houses

Any fans of tv’s Grand Designs will be familiar with Passive Houses, or Passivhaus.  These are ultra-low energy-efficient properties that follow the unique and demanding Passivhaus standards.  These designs, which rely on natural sunshine, shade, and ventilation, aim to achieve a high level of thermal comfort with minimal energy consumption.  These Passive Houses usually include superior insulation, airtight construction, high-performance windows, and a ventilation system with heat recovery.

Passive Houses rely on natural sources of heat, such as sunlight and internal heat gains, to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.  The designs also include high-quality ‘superinsulation’ to reduce the need for external heating during colder months.

Fund New Homes with Greener Home Alliance

The incorporation of sustainable technologies in the construction of new build homes marks a positive step towards a greener and more eco-friendly future.  As constructors, homeowners, and policymakers alike are recognising the importance of sustainable construction in mitigating climate change, Homes England has created the Greener Homes Alliance to encourage this.

This Alliance will allow SME developers to source discounted interest rates on eco-friendly projects, granted their projects meet the allotted energy efficiency criteria.  This aims to help property owners and developers with low-carbon construction while supporting the building of up to 750 new homes.

To learn more about the Greener Homes Alliance and how it amy benefit your project read more here!

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