What makes new build houses energy efficient?

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What makes new build houses energy efficient?

Imagine a home that keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer, while slashing your energy bills and minimising your environmental impact. That’s the reality of today’s newly built houses.

What Makes New Build Houses Energy Efficient?

According to the Home Builder’s Federation ‘Watt a Save’ report, a staggering 85% of newly built homes in the year to March 2023 were rated A or B for energy performance. In contrast, only 4% of existing properties achieved these ratings, illustrating the vast difference in standards. This superior energy efficiency translates a hefty £135 per month on energy bills for new build owners compared to residents of older properties, on average.

What Makes New Build Houses Energy Efficient?

But what exactly makes new builds so much more energy efficient? We explore the key reasons below.

What Makes New Build Houses Energy Efficient?

  • Modern construction methods

Modern construction methods prioritise creating a tight building envelope. This means sealing gaps and leaks around windows, doors, and other openings to prevent conditioned air from escaping the house. 

What Makes New Build Houses Energy Efficient?

New builds achieve airtightness through a combination of techniques, including advanced framing methods, high-performance sealants, and rigorous testing procedures.

What Makes New Build Houses Energy Efficient?

  • Better insulation

A study by EDF Energy found that millions of existing UK homes only meet pre-1976 insulation standards, potentially costing owners hundreds of pounds in wasted energy. 

What Makes New Build Houses Energy Efficient?

New build houses, on the other hand, are packed with the latest and most advanced insulation materials, strategically installed in walls, roofs, and floors. Materials like cavity, loft, and internal wall insulation work together to prevent heat transfer, minimising energy consumption and keeping your home comfortable year-round.

What Makes New Build Houses Energy Efficient?

  • Cutting-edge appliances

New properties typically feature A-rated (or higher) appliances, meaning they use significantly less energy to perform the same tasks. From washing machines and dishwashers to refrigerators and cookers, these advancements can make a real difference to your energy bills. 

  • Smart home technology

Many new build homes have built-in smart features that can further enhance how you manage your energy use. 

Smart thermostats, for example, can be programmed to learn your preferences and adjust heating and cooling automatically, ensuring you’re only using energy when needed. Additionally, smart lighting systems allow for remote control and can be programmed to turn off when not in use, eliminating wasted energy on forgotten lights. 

While the upfront cost of smart technology might be a consideration, the long-term savings on energy bills can be significant.

  • Stricter building regulations

The advancements in energy efficiency aren’t solely driven by innovative construction methods and technology. Stricter building regulations are also playing a crucial role. 

The UK government has implemented a phased approach to improve the energy performance of new buildings, culminating in a target of all new homes being zero carbon by 2025. These regulations will ensure that all new builds meet a baseline level of efficiency, with many exceeding these standards to offer even greater cost savings and environmental benefits.

How buying a new build pays off

While the extra upfront cost of a new build’s energy efficiency might seem high, the long-term savings on energy bills can make them a sound financial investment. Moreover, the improved comfort and reduced maintenance needs associated with a well-insulated and airtight property contribute to the overall return on investment of a newly built home.

Yet by opting for a new build, you’re not just making a financially sound investment. You’re choosing a home that aligns with a future-focused on sustainability and environmental responsibility.

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