How are UK residential properties going green?
Global warming has been a hot topic of conversation worldwide for much of the 21 st century.
Particularly in recent years, countries around the world have seen ever-staggering side effects of rising temperatures, from floods and landslides to severe drought.
So far we have got off relatively lightly compared to destinations with less temperate climates, but the Met Office announced that 2022 was the warmest year on record for the UK following a summer that saw temperatures peak at 40 degrees centigrade.
The UK are leading the charge with an international commitment to slowing global warming by moving away from fossil fuels. Producing energy using coal, oil, and gas accounts for over 75% of
worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, so switching to renewable energy sources to power our way
of life seems set to make a dramatic difference to current rates of climate change.
Buildings – in terms of manufacture, heating, and powering internal operations – are one of the
biggest users of fossil fuels in the UK. Ensuring that our residential properties go green as quickly as
possible is therefore a major part of the UK government’s drive to hit net zero carbon emissions by
2050. But how are building designs and construction becoming more eco-friendly?
As outlined, moving away from fossil fuels to heat and light our properties is going to make the most
dramatic difference to global warming.
Traditional gas boilers are going to be replaced with green heating systems such as air source heat
pumps and more eco-friendly models such as electric combi-boilers. Similarly, there is a plan to
make use of solar panels to help generate electricity.
Fitting green heating systems requires special engineering knowledge, and the government is
currently seeking to train people in air source heat pump installation and the fitting of solar panels in
order to satisfy demand.
Although there is not yet a law in place regarding the refitting of boilers in existing properties,
financial incentives are available for those who want to make the switch. More strict building
regulations are in place for new homes – all residential properties built after 2025 must have a non-
An analysis of our housing stock compared to other countries in Europe demonstrated that the UK
has some of the leakiest homes in the continent. Essentially, this means that it is difficult to heat our
homes and then even harder to keep them warm. Better insultation is therefore essential for construction
of new build homes.
Double-glazed windows are essential, sealed and secured by durable all-weather frames that will
help protect against cold air and damp entering the home. There is also a new ‘green roof’ design
that will be followed for new build homes which calls for more insulating material and guards against
water collection and wind damage.
Often overlooked by people who are keen to do more to protect the environment, water
conservation is a vital part of going green.
Bathrooms are the most obvious candidate for water conservation, but it needs to go beyond
turning the tap off when you brush your teeth. Consider fitting low-flow showerheads which use less
water per minute and changing your toilet flush system to ‘dual flush’ to give the option of using less
External elements of the house are also essential to water conservation. Quality guttering that feeds
into water butts gives you a supply of rainwater for your garden, saving you from turning on the
hose in the hot summer months. You can also look at landscaping your garden to improve drainage.