Eco homes

Eco homes are beautiful

Eco homes come in all shapes and sizes. I would argue (but I am biased!) that eco homes are more beautiful than normal homes, simply because building with the environment in mind, leads to a more sensitive design.

Are eco homes expensive to build?

They don’t have to be more expensive than a ‘normal’ home, it’s really up to you how expensive you want to go with fixtures, fittings and finishes. To achieve Passivhaus does usually cost more, but then the certificate should get you an 8% (approx) uplift if you chose to sell.

Can you build a house for 200k UK?

Yes this is possible though the floor area would need to be 100m2 or less (approx small three bedroom sized house).

Do you need planning permission for an eco house?

Yes, unless you are converting an existing home into an ecohome via retrofitting insulation and other improvements. But any changes externally that fall outside of permitted development would need planning permission.



On the right are a few eco homes that we have designed. They are quite varied because, just like normal homes, there is no definitive design for an eco home. Just like with a normal home there is plenty of opportunity to put your own personal stamp on it.

For more inspiration view our case studies here

Extend or update – that’s also eco

It’s also possible to make eco homes out of existing buildings. In fact, this is arguably the most eco-friendly that a home can possibly be. Re-using an existing building reduces the embodied energy (the energy required to make the materials and transport the materials used on a building) considerably.

Definition of an eco home

An eco-friendly home is a home that requires very little energy to run and build. That means low ‘energy in use’ or ‘operational energy’ (meaning very low utility bills). It also means low embodied energy (the energy required to build it). Ideally this means using local and renewable materials in your building. It also means high levels of insulation and airtightness. Although some eco-friendly homes can be built with breathability in mind, using only natural materials and using renewable energy systems. There are many options and opportunities.

Adding renewables could enable you to create a plus energy home (you make more energy than you use).

Renewables could be Photovoltaic panels, an Air Source Heat Pump, a Ground Source Heat Pump, Solar thermal heating, Solar Air Source Heat Pump – there are quite a few options!

There are also different standards such as Passivhaus or AECB building standard (formerly silver standard) that you can choose to comply with

Improve biodiversity

Clare Nash Architecture barn conversion sketchBecause all building requires energy in some form, you can help to reduce your carbon footprint by making the environment around it more biodiverse. An example of an ecology garden is shown here.  Even if we only make part of our gardens support biodiversity, it will make a big difference. Our sister company Hear the Birds offers Beautiful and Biodiverse garden design.

If you would like to make your home more eco-friendly or would like to work with us on a new eco home or eco barn conversion or housing scheme, then please get in touch. Or stay in touch by signing up to our newsletter.