Eco houses are a different concept from energy-efficient homes. Eco houses promote a concept of sustainability, upcycling and efficiency but it isn’t always the same as an energy-efficient home. Often you’ll hear that an eco-house is promoted as ‘earth ship’ which is a style of architecture created around a house with a focus on the environment and its interaction with it. Initial concepts are from the 1970s with a larger take off from the 2000s. Eco houses will often be a lot more self-sufficient than their counterparts. They will aim to have their own power source, recycle as much of their waste as possible and be created with either upcycled materials or using sustainable sources. It’s not uncommon to also find them incorporated within the landscape which can help with insulation.
Energy-efficient homes can look like any other property, their focus is to be as efficient as possible. This might be from excellent insulation to keep the property warmer so it needs less energy to heat. You can convert nearly any property to be an energy-efficient one but it’s significantly more difficult to make a property eco friendly.
It’s a bit more common to find eco elements in homes for example reclaimed materials like wood or brick, solar panels or wind turbines on the roof. Even rain catchers to help water gardens, some of these won’t add up to an energy-efficient home but can help with the environmental impact of your home. The creation of eco-homes requires specialist skills that are rare in most markets so it’s much more common to come across eco elements than a fully eco-home.
Having a good EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) not only saves money but tends to make a home more desirable. With the current costs of electricity only going upwards it’s more likely for people to look into a good energy-efficient home than they would for an eco-home. Up-market market buyers will still find the style and idea of eco-homes highly desirable.