Can sustainable eco houses become mainstream?

Climate change is causing extreme weather around the world, from devastating floods to raging forest fires. Sustainability is the word that has to be applied to everything we do and sustainable housing is surely a must, not a luxury

The UK's housing stock accounts for nearly 30 per cent of our CO2 emissions, and that's because of emissions resulting from gas central heating and electricity use where electricity isn't from renewable sources. The good news is we're starting to build more housing that meets strict sustainability criteria, but will that go mainstream in the coming years?

Everyone needs to live in a sustainable house, where sustainable means it's powered by renewable energy and made from sustainable materials. What would be even better is if everyone's home also had space to grow fruit and veg to people keep food bills down. 

Traditional homes are one of the main contributors of CO2 emissions in the world. Sustainable housing can be a solution cutting those emissions, so we need to lobby the housebuilders to start incorporating eco tech into their designs.

How do eco houses conserve energy?

'Normal' houses tend to consume a lot of energy in the form of central heating, lighting and, increasingly, air conditioning. And those things we do most days, ie cooking, washing, drying, running phones, computers and TVs, also guzzle the gas, so to speak. Eco-houses on the other hand are built from sustainable materials, notably timber, and they conserve energy because they're properly insulated, use double or triple glazing, and they're fitted with solar panels, ground source heat pumps and biomass boilers, all of which mean they are energy independent to a large degree. And latest developments mean eco houses can be fitted with equipment to digest bio waste and in turn produce a biogas that the householder can use, for example for cooking. 

How can eco houses become mainstream?

The more people around the world are aware of developments in eco house building, the more they'll expect to see them incorporated into their homes, so education is key. We are all aware of the need to live sustainably in a bid to save the planet and that means social housing should to be built to high environmental standards - that's because far more people need to live in low cost housing than can afford architect designed eco luxury. Modular construction techniques means well insulated low cost housing modules can be built off-site and assembled on-site in a few weeks. Eco houses mean everyone can enjoy low energy costs and feel they're doing their bit for the planet. Eco houses don't have to be huge and expensive and they shouldn't be the preserve of the wealthy. Technologies improve and become cheaper and that means they can become widely available. So if everyone demands high eco standards, then housebuilders will have to meet those demands. Sustainable homes are relatively new, and it's great that more architects are spreading the word about new building techniques and materials that can be incorporated into all types of housebuilding. 

Maintenance of eco houses is a challenge

Cleaning and maintenance can be a challenge eco-house dwellers face. And people who don't yet live in an eco house wonder how they would clean it if it were full of all sorts of eco bells and whistles they'd not lived with before. Eco-friendly houses are often built in unique ways and use specific materials which may pose a challenge when it comes to cleaning. There is a simple solution- eco-savvy home cleaners. Simply find a company that is proficient in green cleaning and they will do the work for you in no time. Also, professional cleaning services can also educate people on how to clean and maintain various materials and features unique to eco homes.