21 July 2023

Are New Builds More Energy Efficient? The Truth About Development & Consumption

Are new builds more energy efficient? It’s an important question, especially in these times of economic uncertainty and shrinking global resources.

Of the approximately 4,325,000 privately rented homes in the UK, only 131,000 achieve an energy efficiency rating band of A or B. 3,599,000 fall into bands C or D, and – perhaps most concerningly – 213,000 are mired in bands F or G (Statista).

With the explosion in new builds across the country– 204,530 new dwellings completed in 2021-22 alone (Office for National Statistics) – it's important to understand their bottom-line impact on energy consumption and the environment.

New builds, in general, hold the promise of hope, with modern construction techniques, innovative technologies, and improved energy-saving features. However, there is often some speculation surrounding just how green these developments truly are. Are they living up to their energy-efficient reputation?

Today, the Greenpoint team will delve into the world of new builds. We’ll examine energy efficiency credentials, best practices, and the impact new builds have on energy consumption. 

New Builds & Energy Efficiency: Best Practices

When it comes to actually constructing energy efficient new builds, the construction industry has adopted several best practices aiming to maximise sustainability and minimise energy consumption. These practices encompass a range of materials, methods, and processes aimed at creating more eco-friendly, energy efficient apartments and homes.

  • One key aspect lies in the selection of construction materials. Utilising eco-friendly and sustainable materials such as recycled steel, reclaimed wood, and energy efficient insulation will significantly improve a building's energy performance. Additionally, incorporating high-performance windows with advanced glazing and thermal properties helps reduce heat loss and increase natural light.

  • The use of efficient building methods is also crucial. Employing advanced construction techniques, such as prefabrication, can minimise waste and expedite the construction process. Furthermore, implementing proper insulation, air sealing, and weatherization measures ensures that the building retains heat effectively, reducing reliance on heating systems and improving overall energy efficiency.

  • Equally, energy-saving technologies play a significant role. Installing energy-efficient appliances, LED lighting, and smart home systems that allow for intelligent energy management, such as programmable thermostats, further enhance energy efficiency and occupant comfort.

By embracing these best practices, the construction industry is working towards a new standard of development that prioritises energy efficiency. These methods contribute to reducing environmental impact and help occupants enjoy the benefits of energy efficient living.

What Are Some Energy-Saving Features?

When it comes to energy-saving features in modern homes, there are several innovative solutions that can contribute to reduced energy consumption and a more sustainable living environment.

Modern Insulation

Effective insulation plays a crucial role in preserving energy by minimising heat transfer. From high-quality insulation materials, to advanced techniques like cavity wall insulation, these features ensure that homes retain warmth during the colder months, reducing the reliance on heating systems and overall energy usage.

Solar Power Integration

Solar power, meanwhile, harnesses the energy of the sun to generate electricity. By installing solar panels on rooftops, new homes can tap into renewable energy sources and reduce their dependence on conventional power grids. This integration not only lowers energy costs but also minimises the carbon footprint associated with traditional energy generation.

Efficient Boiler Systems & Central Heating

Modern boilers and central heating provide optimal heating performance while consuming less energy. Condensing boilers, for example, extract additional heat from exhaust gases, maximising efficiency. Smart thermostats and zoned heating systems allow for precise temperature control, ensuring energy is only used where and when needed.

Innovative Window Glazing

Window glazing with a high energy star rating improves energy efficiency by reducing heat wastage and maximising natural light. Double or triple glazing with low-emissivity coatings enhances insulation, reducing the need for artificial lighting.

Minimised Water Consumption

Low-flow faucets, water-efficient appliances, and dual-flush toilets help conserve water without compromising on comfort or functionality. These measures contribute to sustainable water usage and reduce the strain on natural resources.

A Word On Energy-Saving Technologies

Energy-saving technologies have revolutionised the way we approach energy consumption in our homes, offering numerous benefits for both residents and the environment. 

One notable benefit is their potential for long-term cost savings. Efficient appliances, smart thermostats, and LED lighting significantly reduce energy consumption, leading to lower utility bills. 

Additionally, renewable energy systems, such as solar panels, provide homeowners with the opportunity to generate their own clean energy, further reducing reliance on traditional power sources.

However, it's important to acknowledge: there is always room for improvement. 

Concerns may arise regarding the initial costs of implementing energy-saving technologies, which can be a barrier for some homeowners. Furthermore, the integration and compatibility of these technologies within existing infrastructures can pose challenges.

Looking ahead, the future of energy efficient technology holds great promise. Continued advancements and innovations in renewable energy, battery storage, and smart home automation are driving the industry forward. 

As these technologies become more accessible and cost-effective, the widespread adoption of energy-saving measures will become a norm, rather than an exception.

Energy Efficiency & the Greenpoint Vision 

Energy efficiency plays a vital role in shaping the future of new builds and sustainable living. The adoption of energy-saving technologies, efficient construction practices, and eco-friendly features has made significant strides towards reducing energy consumption and promoting a greener lifestyle. 

While there are challenges to overcome, the UK’s commitment to energy efficiency seems stronger than ever before.

As part of the Greenpoint vision, we wholeheartedly embrace the ideas and the practicalities of energy efficient living. Our luxury apartments exemplify this commitment, offering high-spec, eco-friendly spaces that prioritise occupier comfort and sustainability.

Browse our locations today and discover the Greenpoint difference.

Greenpoint Living Limited
13 St Mary’s Street
Lincolnshire PE9 2DE