The Inside Edge
GREEN is the colour of choice for new homes. Movie star Leonardo di Caprio is building an eco home on his own private Caribbean island. Julia Roberts and George Clooney too are green devotees. Brad Pitt has been involved with constructing several in New Orleans. Even Manchester United footballer Gary Neville is trying to build an eco home in the hills outside Manchester.
The reason green, eco or sustainable (the words are used interchangeably) have become the new luxury is for many people a combination of our growing awareness of climate change (images of polar bears stranded on melting ice flows is potent), and a general groundswell of opinion that we need to be just a little more aware of how increasingly scarce are natural resources are becoming.
So, how, you might ask, do our homes have an impact on melting ice flows? Well, our homes account for 25% of the CO2 – a greenhouse gas – emissions that scientists say is contributing to irreversible climate change. The effect is not only melting ice flows but rising sea levels, increasing outbreaks of drought and famine, and some say the upsurge in other natural phenomena like tsunamis.
For some of us the issues are a little less high blown. In these straitened times, simply saving a few hundred pounds a year on your heating and electricity bills is a big incentive to make one’s home more energy efficient. Inexpensive ways to reduce bills, lessen CO2 emissions and create a more pleasant temperature include laying more insulation, and choosing energy efficient appliances.
When it comes to new homes – either in the UK, or overseas – and whether you are buying a permanent home, a holiday retreat, or building up your investment portfolio, sustainable design and build represents the future of global property. The sustainably built homes of today are stylish, beautifully finished, invariably with warm and light spaces for living – and in many cases they look just like a conventional house.
Those who understand this philosophy when buying a new home are in an enlightened and beneficial situation. Their homes will have cleaner air and a more pleasant temperature for comfort and well-being; if the paint and furniture is made from non-toxic materials it’ll be better for their health and their children’s too. So, not only is there a feel good factor, there’s a beneficial long-term legacy to leave the next generation.
This article was contributed by Gordon Miller, sustainability and communications director of Sustain Worldwide
Sustain Worldwide’s member developers are creating many of the leading sustainable homes, communities and resorts in the UK and worldwide where you can purchase permanent, second/holiday, retirement and investment properties – places where you want to buy a home, and build a life.
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