It was announced in early 2021 that all homes and businesses would need a new set of rigorous energy efficiency standards. The new “green building revolution” as they call it aims to lower energy consumption, helping both individuals with their bills and the country as a whole in reducing its carbon footprint. The changes that were announced in January 2021 by Housing Minister Chris Pincher are quite detailed. Homes should be highly energy efficient, have low carbon heating and must be zero carbon ready by 2025. In order to get there, emissions produced must be 75-80% lower than current levels. While it may seem a way off, it was imposed that a 31% reduction would need to be made after 2021.
As a landlord or a developer, it poses some serious challenges. Nevertheless, they are achievable. There are a number of decisions that you can make to get there, from the foundation solutions that you use right the way up to the roof.
A building needs good foundations for obvious reasons – to support the building on top, and provide protection against natural disasters and stability. They can also add insulation. It’s reported that 10% to 20% of heat is lost through the floor so investing in good foundations will make all of the difference when it comes to energy efficiency.
Quality carpeting can also do a good job of insulating the floor. It not only makes you feel warmer not having to walk across an icy floor, but it creates more of a barrier and prevents heat loss. By opting for a fluffy floor as opposed to smooth flat wood or tile, you can expect to save an additional 10%.
Going back to foundations and the base of your property, you can use helical piles that help to reduce the pollutants released into the environment during the production process. Usually, when building, a lot of concrete is used and one ton of greenhouse gases are released for every ton of concrete used. Helical piles use far less in comparison and do not require digging which further reduces the carbon footprint of a build.
Insulation is something that we’re all well aware of. It will help you in limiting heat loss from your property, making it more energy efficient as less is needed to keep it warm. Aside from the floor which we’ve already mentioned, heat can escape from various parts of a home. The walls are accountable for 35%, the roof that’s responsible for a further 25% and windows are estimated to lose around 10%. Each of these can have additional coatings or coverings added. For example, windows can be double or triple-insulated and walls can have cavity insulation. If you’re upgrading an existing property, you can quite easily do some of the work yourself. Roof insulation is not very complex and will only set you back between £11 to £30 per square metre.
Another option is to consider renewable energy. Solar panels produce clean energy which limits fossil fuel usage. It means that households are less reliant on the national grid as they can produce their own electricity, helping to keep their bills low. Also, if there happens to be a surplus in the energy a home makes, it can be sold. It’s an interesting selling point and an investment that pays itself off within 15 years in the UK.
We hope that these tips help you in making your building more energy efficient. These are just a few and are here to provide general advice, so more or less work may be required depending on your circumstances.