What are the benefits of green building?

Constructing an environmentally friendly green building brings benefits to the homeowner for decades afterwards. Green buildings have lower energy costs, are more comfortable, and reduce the impact on the environment around them. 

What is a green building?

A green building is constructed with a focus on environmentally friendly materials and construction methods. The design will include energy saving features, improved insulation and airtightness, ensure adequate ventilation and include renewables, says our member The Green Building Store. These principles are the same as those in passive house construction. 

Grey and white detached house, retrofitted by the Green Building Store
Home retrofitted by the Green Building Store

You don’t necessarily have to build from scratch to have a green building. Low carbon features can be retrofitted, like energy efficient windows or additional insulation. And it is even possible to self build a green building. 

Getting the right advice for a green building project is key, and we have a number of Blue Patch members who are architects and designers of sustainable projects:

bach rooms of a retrofitted Edwardian house
Natalie & Ben’s retrofit using natural materials

Enbee Architecture is based in Herne Hill in South East London. They offer a full design service for construction, extension and low energy retrofits. Read the case study on Natalie & Ben’s own home retrofit project

Shuttleworth Projects, based in central London, takes a green approach to construction and project management on sustainable builds. 

Borisa Ristic & Co have been delivering green building projects in north west London since 2007 and they have worked on heritage projects improving energy consumption. 

U-Build makes modular boxes that can be used to build garden rooms, homes or fit-outs. The panels are made of plywood which is strong, durable and environmentally friendly. 

If you are looking for air source or ground source heat pumps or a solar install, then Elite Renewables in Coulsdon work on projects across the UK. Elite Architectural offer services on retrofitting, new build, passivhaus certification and low carbon building designs. 

How does green building help the planet?

In addition to the personal benefits of reduced costs and increased comfort, a green building will contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions in the UK to help it reach net zero. 

Domestic gas central heating currently contributes to 31% of an average UK household’s emissions (Energy Saving Trust). In 2017, this added up to 2,745 kg of Co2. Building or renovating a house and making it more energy efficient, will reduce the individual household’s emissions and could reach net zero. 

Using low carbon materials like natural insulation boards for internal insulation and bricks or render for external insulation and wood or wool will help reduce the environmental impact of a house and also protect against toxic VOCs. 

Triple glazing or energy efficient windows will help to reduce the heating required to keep the house comfortably warm (assuming it is also well insulated). According to the Energy Saving Trust installing the best energy efficient windows can reduce carbon emissions by as much as 410 kg of carbon dioxide a year and save you £175.

Constructing or retrofitting a green building is beneficial to both the residents and the environment. Saving energy and reducing carbon emissions are critical to reversing or slowing climate change. The added benefits will see reduced energy bills and a healthier home. 

Find trusted suppliers in our Sustainable Business Directory for your home renovation.

Annette Clubley

Annette is a keen wildlife conservationist, mindful of sustainability and our impact on the environment. Outside of work, family is her focus and she loves teaching the next generation to enjoy the outdoors.