Sustainable housing and its characteristics

Sustainable housing must be a reality if we want to build a more ecological, balanced, habitable and environmentally friendly world. This requires profound changes in the way we build.
According to updated statistics from the United Nations, homes consume close to a third of the world’s energy and are therefore responsible for a large part of the CO₂ emissions into the atmosphere.

What is a sustainable home?

A sustainable dwelling is one that minimizes as much as possible the impact of its construction on the environment and aims to reduce energy consumption by making the best possible use of the resources of its surroundings, seeking to promote recycling as much as possible.
One of the important things to highlight is that sustainable housing takes care of the entire construction process. That is why it is also relevant to introduce the concept of sustainable architecture.

What is sustainable architecture?

Sustainable architecture is that which has as a priority the minimization of the environmental impact that the construction will have throughout its life cycle and until its demolition.
It is very important to take into account both the materials used from the beginning of its useful life, as well as the supplies that will be consumed by its occupants. Finally, the waste that will be generated when the day of demolition arrives must also be taken into account.
In short, the goal is to reduce the environmental impact and achieve maximum energy efficiency with adequate levels of comfort and health.

Characteristics of a sustainable home

Location

Both the location and the orientation should make the most of the resources of its surroundings and reduce energy demand.
A sustainable dwelling must have basic services nearby. The aim is to make it easy for users to get around on foot or by sustainable means such as bicycles. It is important to choose locations where pedestrians have priority over combustion-engine vehicles and where there are good public transport links.

Materials

In a sustainable house, materials should preferably be natural and with low energy costs. It is also very important to use as many recycled or reused materials as possible.
All materials used to build a sustainable house must have their environmental label, this document includes a detailed analysis of the life cycle of this material and this allows us to choose those that have less environmental impact.

Renewable energy sources

A sustainable house always uses renewable energy sources such as solar energy, biomass or geothermal energy. In this aspect, sustainable housing can achieve a reduction of between 50 and 70% of energy consumption.

Insulation and ventilation

Insulation is also a relevant point. Sustainable houses are usually built with materials that offer good insulation. Good insulation optimizes energy by preventing air leakage from the outside.
Although it may seem contradictory, it should be taken into account that sustainable houses should also have a good ventilation System.

Habitability of the house

This is a very important point. It is essential to install efficient appliances, classified with the maximum energy label and a low consumption lighting system.

Sustainability and the value of the house

It has been proven that sustainable homes have an appraised value 5% higher than a standard home, which means being able to obtain a better price in its sale or lease.

Joan Carles Augé

Augé Real Estate