Currently, in the UK housing market, the building of eco-friendly homes are on the rise. These greener homes, driven by the cost it will save home buyers, have encouraged more and more developers to start building eco-friendly properties to meet demand. However, there is still a myth amongst some that green homes are ’ugly.’
Style and design play a rather important role in a potential buyer’s decision to purchase a property. According to Property Wire, 77% of people believe cost is often an excuse for badly designed and soulless homes, whilst 56% feel new, modern homes are built cheaply to maximise profit for the developer.
However, architects and designers have been striving to prove that zero waste doesn’t have to mean zero taste. Where once green properties were unsightly, current green homes are sleek and stylish; ranging from futuristic barns located in Suffolk to poolside studios in Brazil.
Here are a few sleek and stylish eco-friendly homes where the architecture was spot on:
Rustic Self Build Cabin, The Highlands
Architect Lachie Stewart wanted to build a modest home for his elderly parents and one of the most important factors for the budding architect was for the home to have waterfront views. This combined with the rustic design and look of this eco-friendly property gives the home a charming traditional feel.
As the property is located in the Highlands insulation was of key importance. Therefore, all the walls were filled with rigid rockwool slabs to help provide maximum thermal efficiency and the whole house is heated by just an electric-powered Aga.
The build cost was £115,000 (it’s 1,796m²) and makes this charming rustic home one of the smallest eco-friendly properties.
Floating Homes in Nottingham
The floating homes built and based in Sawley Marina in Nottingham, are all shaped for a future of green living.
Jeff Whyatt, Managing Director of BWML, explains:
“The sole ethos for Sawley Marina has been to construct beautiful, ethical, floating homes that enhance the countryside and deliver a very low carbon footprint, low energy bills and a conscientious lifestyle that is only dreamed of by land dwellers. The reaction has been very positive, the units have an outside deck and open window space, which offers excellent views and have really caught people’s imagination.”
Hayley Sommerscales, who has viewed the floating homes, says
“There is a stylish scheme running throughout and the use of light colours makes the floating home look like there is plenty of space. The co-ordinating colours are very modern and it seems to be located in a relaxing environment. This correlates with the theme of the overall design and the fact that it is eco-friendly is a bonus.”
Time Out’s research saw that between April 2012 and 2017, the number of boats registered has increased by 60%. It is believed that more are moving towards living on the waterways whilst house prices continue to increase.
With the floating homes starting price at £169,950, these eco-friendly homes could be the answer to the housing crisis. Especially as the average home in Nottingham costs around £194,412.
The Boat House
The architects in charge of this project explain the ethos behind it:
“The Boathouse was conceived to serve as a tranquil retreat away from the main house – an 18th century converted barn. The concept was that is should float over the lake and provide a quiet hide-away with calming views over the still water.”
The construction and appearance are highly contemporary, but with help from traditional materials such as oak and slate it gives The Boat House a traditional feel. The large expanse of sliding glass panels offers spectacular views of the lake.
Stylish eco-friendly properties often find themselves located near bodies of water. Zoopla’s research found that properties with waterfront views had a high volume of searches, particularly in south west England and in London; houseboats are particularly sought-after, as are properties with a balcony.
The housing crisis in the UK can begin to mend if housing developers and architects become more aware of green issues and offer improved thinking and designs as well as style to complement the environment – and as these the properties prove, eco-friendly luxury doesn’t have to come with a huge price tag, either.