Going Green: Carbon Positive Property Investment Inspiration Property | Property Development | Property Investment 19th January 2017 | By Matt Godfrey With new eco legislation and a trend towards more environmentally-friendly property, carbon-friendly properties are in demand. However, you can’t simply add some extra insulation and a few solar panels on the roof in order to call a property an eco-home. So, if you’re planning a development, it may be time to become carbon-positive and make sure your development exports more energy back to the national grid than it uses. This shouldn’t cost you more than a traditional build, but with such high demand your properties should be snapped up quickly. How can you do this? Here are a few ideas: Energy Efficient Sources and Storage We’ve previously mentioned solar panels and these, along with a combination of a number of other renewable energy sources, can be a great way of ensuring your development project is carbon positive. Solar panels can now be built directly into a roof (rather than attached after), and having a small turbine can also create energy. Other ideas include biomass energy which is a great alternative to gas or electricity, whereas a ground source pump is an effective way of heating your home using renewable energy. However, there is another aspect to consider, exactly how much energy will be produced? If generated energy isn’t used it will be lost. That is why many people opt to sell a set amount to the National Grid. If you still have excess, it may be worth investing in energy storage for your properties. Working in a similar way to a giant mobile phone battery, this process can store energy generated in the day so it can be used later. Use Sustainable Materials That Insulate Well When it comes to construction there is now more to worry about than the speed, cost and quality. Building materials can have a huge impact on how environmentally-friendly your investment becomes. There are a number of ways you can reduce your carbon footprint, from using sustainable sourced wood (where a tree is planted for every one cut down) to using recycled wool or paper as insulation. You could even repurpose roof tiles from old properties that are set to be demolished. However, even if building a house from sustainable wood can cut carbon emissions by ten tonnes (according to the Forestry Commission), the materials may not be best suited to your project. If you intend on using the energy efficient sources mentioned previously in this blog, then you may like to consider your energy loss. The most modern eco homes aspire to be airtight and have minimal energy loss. This is achieved in multiple ways, such as quality window glazing, living roofs and composite front doors. Be Clever with Design So, there are energy efficient sources and storage, as well as eco-friendly building materials, but can these influence your property designs? Well, they should. In order to get the most out of the solar panels, properties should be built facing the sun. This will also help light to shine through windows and heat the rooms. Other nifty tricks include a kitchen diner where heat from the oven will warm the room, sun tunnels to let in natural light so little electricity is used, and low flow flushing toilets to conserve water. Need Help Funding Your Development? Whether you require finance for the purchase of the land, bridging finance as a stop gap after buying at auction or refurbishment funds for a doer-upper, we can help. Get in contact today on 02920 766 565.