Turn your house into an eco-home with the latest technology

Making sustainable choices within our homes is more urgent than ever, and we have the power to make a positive impact on the environment by transforming our houses into eco-homes.

To meet our net zero aims, 250,000 homes in the West of England Combined Authority area need to be retrofitted by 2030. If you’re considering renovating, extending or upgrading your home, there are so many ways to make your home eco-friendly.

By choosing sustainable materials, introducing new methods and utilising energy-efficient technologies, we can reduce our carbon footprint, conserve resources, and create a home that’s more comfortable to live in and cheaper to power.

In this guide, we explore some of the latest innovations on the market to turn your house into an eco-home…

Strive for the Passivhaus standard

If you’re aiming for a truly eco-friendly home, you might be interested in learning more about the Passivhaus standard. This top-tier energy efficiency standard is designed to help you create a home that uses minimal energy for heating and cooling. 

By using high levels of insulation, advanced window technology, thermal bridge-free construction, controlled ventilation with heat recovery, and careful attention to airtightness, the Passivhaus standard ensures that buildings maintain a consistent and comfortable indoor climate while drastically reducing energy demand. The result is highly energy-efficient, environmentally friendly buildings that provide superior comfort, indoor air quality, and long-term sustainability.

Eco Design Consultants is an award-winning chartered architecture practice which designs and redesigns homes to the Passivhaus standard. If you’re interested in finding out how your home build or renovation could meet the standard, find out more about Eco Design Consultants here.

Go gas-free with a heat pump

One of the biggest carbon-emitters in our homes is usually our home heating system. If you’re ready to leave the gas or oil boiler behind, then a heat pump could be a great option. 

Heat pumps are innovative and efficient heating and cooling systems that work by transferring heat from one location to another using a refrigeration cycle. They can extract heat from the air, ground, or even water sources, and then distribute it throughout your home to provide warmth or coolness as needed.

Operating on the principle of thermodynamics, heat pumps use a refrigerant to absorb heat from a low-temperature source (such as outdoor air or the ground) and release it at a higher temperature into the desired space. Conversely, in cooling mode, the process is reversed, with the heat pump extracting heat from indoors and releasing it outdoors, cooling the space.

Heat pumps are highly efficient and eco-friendly alternatives to traditional heating and cooling systems because they transfer heat, rather than generating it by burning fossil fuels. 

This lower energy use means lower utility bills, as well as reduced carbon emissions. Heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular as an eco-friendly way to heat and cool homes in the UK; you can read our full guide to heat pumps here.

If you’re interested in fitting a heat pump, we’d always recommend using a trusted and experienced provider. Earth Save Products have been manufacturing, supplying and installing air source heat pumps to homes and businesses across the UK for over 15 years; find out more here

Control your home environment

Coupling an air source heat pump with a central air distribution system can give you the added benefit of cooling your home in warmer months, as well as filtering allergens like pollen, pet hair and pollutants out of the air.

A central air distribution system is made up of small ducts which mix and deliver conditioned air into your living space. The system replaces the need for traditional radiators and underfloor heating, and the discreet outlets allow you to make maximum use of your internal wallspace by eliminating the need for radiators.

The Unico System has a modular design which allows for easy installation for both new build and retrofit projects, as the system can be designed to fit perfectly within the fabrication of the building. It's unique cooling coil design allows The Unico System to remove up to 30% more humidity than conventional air conditioning and heating systems. This means that, when cooling, you can keep your thermostat a few degrees higher while feeling the same level of comfort - helping to save on energy consumption while creating a comfortable conditioned environment.

Find out more about The Unico System here.


Save with electric heat

According to a survey, almost half of construction workers believe that installing low-carbon heating is one of the most effective ways to reduce carbon emissions, second only to efficient insulation.

As our national grid shifts towards more renewable energy supply, electricity is becoming a greener energy source, and direct electric heating is now a viable and environmentally friendly way to heat your home.

Compared to older systems, modern direct electric heating solutions are much more efficient, achieving 100% efficiency at the point of use (unlike gas heating which experiences energy loss throughout the system). 

With the UK government planning to phase out gas boilers, electric heating systems are becoming increasingly popular. Direct electric heating is also easier to install, making it particularly suitable for buildings with limited space, and generally means lower installation and maintenance costs.

ThermoSphere is a British-based manufacturer which has been designing electric heating systems since 1998, and delivers a range of smart, efficient, and eco-friendly electric heating solutions. You can find out more about ThermoSphere here.

Choose sustainable materials

Part of building a greener and more environmentally responsible home is choosing the responsible materials. There are several ways to incorporate sustainability into your material choices, including sourcing from renewable or recycled materials where possible, such as bamboo, reclaimed wood or recycled steel.

Materials that require low energy and water consumption to produce, such as low-embodied-energy concrete or clay bricks, can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of a building. Choosing materials that have a longer lifespan and require minimal maintenance will reduce the need for frequent replacements, and therefore help to reduced waste in the long run.

Another benefit of choosing sustainable building materials is their impact on your indoor air quality and overall health. Harmful emissions from certain materials can lead to respiratory issues - materials with low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, such as natural paints and adhesives, can significantly improve indoor air quality. Additionally, choosing materials that are non-toxic and don't release harmful substances over time, such as formaldehyde-free insulation or natural fiber carpets, can create a healthier and more comfortable living environment. 

Material choice can come into play in the less-visible parts of your home, too. Catnic's market-leading Thermally Broken Lintels can achieve carbon gains by reducing thermal bridging, making them an economical way to help hit net zero targets when installing lintels during a build or renovation project.

In 2010 Catnic achieved the Environmental Management Standard ISO 14001 recognition of its environmental management policy, and are the only UK lintel manufacturer to be certified to BES 6001 covering the Responsible Sourcing of Materials. They are committed to achieving continual improvement in environmental performance and pollution prevention, and in supporting government policy for sustainable development. 

You can find out more about Catnic here.

Prioritising sustainable building materials not only benefits our planet by reducing resource depletion and pollution, but also supports the health and wellbeing of our households.

Get expert guidance

Seeking expert advice can be a game-changer when it comes to building a more eco-friendly home, whether you're doing a complete renovation or a new extension. If you're investing in your home, it makes sense to take advantage of the latest technology to reduce your energy use and running costs, as well as creating a more sustainable home that's ready for the future.

Construction project consultants can provide invaluable guidance on areas like choosing renewable energy sources, reducing your home's carbon footprint and increasing energy efficiency. They'll assess the specific needs of your property and its occupants, and use this information to recommend tailored solutions to optimise your energy use while also minimising your environmental impact.

Furthermore, these experts stay abreast of the latest technological advancements in eco-friendly heating systems, ensuring you'll have access to the most cutting-edge, energy-efficient options like heat pumps and solar panels.

Construction project consultancy CLPM work with homeowners across the UK to reduce energy usage through measures like improving insulation and air-tightness, as well as recommending the most efficiency home heating and hot water solutions with a low-carbon approach.

You can find out more about CLPM's services here.

Transforming your house into an eco-home benefits both the planet and your wellbeing. By incorporating energy-efficient practices, choosing sustainable materials and embracing renewable energy sources, you can significantly reduce your environmental impact while creating a healthier living environment for you and your family. 

If you’d like to learn more about making conscious choices to live more sustainably and pave the way towards a greener future, visit the NSBRC website for homebuilding tips and expert renovation advice.

CLPM outline what to consider when upgrading your home: