Eco-living is only a doorstep away
The latest cream of the property crop have impeccable eco-credentials, writes Ginetta Vedrickas
Wednesday 19 May 2010
Sculpted by nature
Property: The Indy, Sussex
Price: From £65,000
Agent: Boutique Caravans (08450 177890 ; boutiquecaravans.co.uk)
Agent's details: Billed as "multi-purpose properties" the Indy House was designed by former sculptor Dick Shone, whose objective was "to introduce a more environmentally conscious way of living to the masses". These transportable alternatives to bricks and mortar houses consume less energy and reduce running costs. Sitting on long steel pins that screw into the ground, green features include photovoltaic roof panels that can generate enough electricity to sell some back to the national grid. Heat is generated and regulated through a heat exchange system that also cools the property in summer. Each model has a grey water and rainwater harvesting system and, if you choose to establish your house in a permanent location, you can hook it up to a ground-source heat pump.
Green home rating: Average running costs are estimated to be a negligible £200 per year.
Property: Portland Road, Holland Park, W11
Agent: Foxtons (020 7616 7000 ; foxtons.co.uk)
Agent's details: One of three architect-designed eco-houses (the other two have sold) this new four-bedroom house comes with private gated driveway, and high levels of insulation. The features of this high-tech building include: geothermal boreholes; water filtration; photovoltaic cells mounted on the roof; and sustainable materials, such as timber infill framework, recycled roofing membranes and breathable eco-paint. The sleek, modern interior consists of a large reception room with open-plan kitchen and feature staircase, utility room, master bedroom with en suite bathroom and access to the private decked and landscaped roof terrace. There are three further bedrooms, each of which has an en suite bathroom, as well as a cloakroom, private parking space and storage for bicycles.
Green home rating: A luxurious property, which doesn't compromise on green living.
Property: Avante, Coxheath, Kent
Price: From £202,500
Agent: Avante (0870 755 9830; crestnicholson.com)
Agent's details: Avante is an innovative collection of 150 contemporary one- and two-bedroom apartments and two-, three- and four-bedroom houses, which the company says "push the boundaries of sustainable living". The development has been designed using a mix of modern materials and with a range of innovative eco-features, including low-energy lighting that helps reduce electricity consumption. All glazing has been minimised in bedrooms and maximised in living areas to let in natural light and reduce heat loss. Other eco features include a central lantern roof light, which maximises daylight, provides natural ventilation and improves solar gain.
Green home rating: All of these homes have been rated very good or excellent by the EcoHomes independent system of rating for domestic properties.
Property: hus22, Norwich
Price: From £375,000
Agent: Savills (01603 229 229; savills.co.uk)
Agent's details: This collection of 22 sustainable and contemporary homes from Abel Homes lies within 20 acres of peaceful woodland five miles from Norwich city centre. The properties comply with level four of the insulation Code for Sustainable Homes. Eco-features include: low-energy lighting and wood burners linked to a heat recovery system. All timber comes from a sustainable source and air source pumps provide central heating through underfloor heating and radiators upstairs. The houses have solar thermal panels, triple glazing and a whole-house heat recovery system, which maintains a fresh atmosphere throughout the house, expelling warm air from bathrooms and kitchen via a heat exchanger to provide fresh warmed air to living room and bedrooms.
Green home rating: Buyers also receive four hens and a hen house, so they can get fresh eggs in return for recycling scraps.
Rock and rolls
Property: Slattenslade, Woody Bay, Exeter
Agent: Winkworth (01392 422 320 ; winkworth.co.uk)
Agent's details: The first new build in Woody Bay for many years, Slattenslade is sympathetic to its natural surroundings and has all mod cons, yet is fully sustainable. Built on a shelf of solid rock, the property's eco-friendly features include high levels of insulation; underfloor heating pipes are laid on top of the insulation and covered with oak floorboards. All window glass is double-glazed, the roof is insulated and the heat pump takes its source from a borehole that supplies the under floor heating and hot water. Other green features include rainwater harvesting, sewage treatment plant, smart vac, extensive natural lighting, and three different types of inset lighting.
Green home rating: Anyone contemplating self-sufficiency may be attracted by the property's large gardens, which contain an old working bread oven.
Lead the good life
Property: Winfield Cottage, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland
Price: £250,000 (guide price)
Agent: Smiths Gore (01289 333 030; smithsgore.co.uk)
Agent's details: Winfield Cottage is a pretty one-and-a-half storey stone-built detached cottage situated in a rural location near New Horndean, around eight miles from the vibrant market town Berwick-upon-Tweed. The three-bedroomed property benefits from UPVC double-glazing, and generates its own electricity from a wind turbine, with a generator back-up. Externally, the cottage's extensive gardens are mainly laid with lawn and include a pond as well as flowering and shrub borders. There are also a number of outbuildings, including a detached double garage and workshop.
Green home rating: Self-sufficiency is a real possibility thanks to a large garden that spans half an acre, which contains many mature fruit trees as well as a well-stocked vegetable patch.
Style and substance
Property: One Brighton, Sussex
Price: From £215,000
Agent: Crest Nicholson (0870 752 1820 ; onebrighton.co.uk)
Agent's details: These 172 striking studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments at One Brighton are stylish, city centre homes that have a range of eco-friendly measures. All kitchens are fitted with segregated rubbish bins, with organic waste composted on site. All apartments have water efficient fittings, taps and appliances and are powered by energy from renewable sources. Rooftop allotments and balcony planters are an integral part of the development, where residents are encouraged to grow their own produce and a rainwater harvesting system provides irrigation. For those who enjoy outside space, sky and roof gardens, Brighton's newest square provides ideal places to unwind.
Green home rating: One Brighton is linked to local cycle routes into the city and railway station. An on-site car club lets you hire a car as and when needed.
Property: Collyers, Boars Hill, Oxfordshire
Price: Guide Price £1,995,000
Agent: John D Wood & Co (01865 311522 ; johndwood.co.uk)
Agent's details: This state-of-the-art 4/5 bedroom low carbon sustainable home has flexible accommodation with far reaching views of the Vale of White Horse. The property combines traditional and modern construction methods to create a sustainable home, with a reduced carbon footprint and low energy usage. The principle rooms are south facing and include the living room, kitchen/family room, formal dining room and two bedrooms, plus the master bedroom. Natural sunlight maximises solar heat gains and solar shading provides passive cooling in the hotter months. Other green aspects include a handcrafted kitchen made by local cabinetmakers, locally sourced stone flooring and stack ventilation.
Green home rating: An eco-friendly home with ample gardens, which includes a grapevine and mature fruit trees.
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