Innovations in sustainable architecture and luxury eco-properties are changing the way we live, writes Nadine Nicolson
here’s a growing desire to live in homes built with sustainable materials and that contribute to a healthy environment. It’s a welcome trend, since the construction industry consumes a third of the planet’s resources (according to the United Nations Environmental Programme) and generates a staggering amount of waste. The good news is the design and construction industries are developing practices that aid the environment and have long-term economic advantages.
Architects, designers, engineers and construction companies are integrating modern ecological design and materials to improve the energy efficiency of homes. In choosing materials, they take into account how much energy went into making them, how long they will last, and whether they can be recycled or composted. These products include so-called “smart” materials, such as glass that switches from transparent to translucent according to the conditions. Site and construction choices can also limit environmental disturbance.
There are different certification systems that provide guidance as to how buildings should be designed and constructed for maximum sustainability. Breeam is used in