By Catherine McGeer •
Published: 24 Aug 2023 • 17:51
Sustainable Homes: Where Conservation Meets Financial Gain
Image: Shutterstock/ David Herraez Calzada
In a world where energy and electricity costs are increasing, the need to look for cheaper alternatives is indisputable. As our world deals with environmental challenges and the need for responsible resource management becomes increasingly urgent, the concept of sustainable living has gained significant momentum. One of the key components of sustainable living is residing in environmentally friendly and energy-efficient properties. These sustainable properties offer a wide array of benefits that not only promote personal well-being but also contribute to the health of our planet.
There is no single ecological or sustainable house design, they can be prefabricated or traditional, but all types share a common goal: to achieve optimal living conditions with minimum energy consumption. For this, various factors are taken into account, from the orientation of the facades and the nature of the land, to the use of sustainable and efficient materials or the construction method.
One of the most compelling reasons to opt for a sustainable property is its positive impact on the environment. Sustainable homes are designed to minimise their carbon footprint through features such as solar panels, rainwater harvesting systems, and energy-efficient appliances. These elements reduce the overall consumption of non-renewable resources and decrease the emission of greenhouse gases, helping to combat climate change.
Sustainable properties are equipped with advanced technologies that promote energy efficiency. Features like LED lighting, smart thermostats, and well-insulated walls help conserve energy, resulting in lower utility bills. While the initial investment in these technologies might be higher, the long-term savings on energy expenses often outweigh the upfront costs, making sustainable homes a financially sound choice.
Savings from a sustainable home vary based on strategies and home characteristics. Older homes could lose 20-30 per cent heat due to thermal bridges. Adding insulation, efficient windows, and renewable energy like solar panels can yield around €1,000 in annual savings for a 90 m² house. Further savings, exceeding 60 per cent, can result from the use of solar panels, equivalent to over €300 yearly. Solar energy reduces hot water consumption by up to 30 per cent, while aerothermal/geothermal air conditioning cuts 25-80 per cent of costs. These strategies apply universally and are supported by government incentives.
Sustainable properties prioritise the health and well-being of their residents. High-quality insulation and ventilation systems ensure that indoor air remains clean and fresh. Additionally, the use of non-toxic building materials minimises the presence of harmful chemicals that are often found in conventional construction. This leads to improved indoor air quality, reducing the risk of respiratory problems and allergies.
Sustainable properties are built with durability in mind. High-quality materials and construction techniques ensure that these homes have a longer lifespan compared to conventional counterparts. This resilience translates to reduced maintenance and repair costs over time, making sustainable properties a wise investment in the long run.
As society places a higher value on environmental consciousness, sustainable properties have become more desirable in the real estate market. Homes with energy-efficient features and eco-friendly designs tend to have higher resale values, making them a smart choice for homeowners looking to make a solid investment.
Do you have an eco-friendly home or would you like to invest in one? Let us know your opinion.
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I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!
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