5th June 2019


More demand for sustainable homes

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More than half of consumers believe it is important their home is built using environmentally-responsible materials, according to research.

The most appealing sustainability features are double/triple glazing (58 per cent), followed by solar panels (35 per cent), energy efficient appliances (34 per cent) and recycled and sustainable building products (22 per cent).

The research was carried out by Eurocell, which designs and manufactures precision PVC -U window, door, conservatory and roofline products.

The firm surveyed 1,000 25-40-year-old renters and homeowners to investigate their views on design and build considerations for future homes.

Respondents were asked questions on a wide range of issues including their home ownership prospects, attitudes towards sustainability credentials in future homes and views on building design. They were also asked about the impact of homes on their wellbeing and their opinions on how homes could be made more affordable.

The survey is part of Eurocell’s ‘The Future Home Report’, based on the current housing shortage and the construction sector feeling pressure to exceed the Government’s current pledge to build 300,000 new homes each year.

To ensure that the housing stock deficit is erased, the UK needs to build 340,000 new homes every year until 2031, which must meet the needs and demands of future homeowners.

Eurocell asked experts from Simpson Haugh, Hawkins Brown, BDP (formerly known as Building Design Partnership) and The High Street Group to analyse the findings and provide insight into the trends that they are currently seeing in the market.

Steve Marshall, architect director and head of housing at BDP, said: “Some of our local authority clients like to be seen as leading the way and pushing standards when it comes to sustainability.

“They need to be seen to be doing the right thing and as such will go above and beyond minimum requirements. It might take time for this to impact the standards that others build to, but this may happen as buyers start to ask why the council is offering something that private developers are not.”

Architects highlighted that for homes to become more sustainable, however, consumers need to be better educated in what sustainability actually means in housing.
James Roberts, project architect at Simpson Haugh, said: “It comes down to what is tangible. People understand the concept of double glazing and smart meters, for example.

“However, if you look at the sustainability credentials of the materials used, or how airtight a home is, these are less tangible yet can have an equally significant impact on how sustainable a home is.

“As such, willingness to invest in some ‘sustainable design features’ is likely to increase as the public’s understanding of them does. Some they will already be investing in, without appreciating it.”

Chris Coxon, group head of marketing at Eurocell, said: “Sustainability means different things to different people in the housebuilding industry, which has created an ongoing debate around the topic. It will be interesting to see how this develops as the public continues to become more educated in this area and the demand for sustainably-built homes increases.”