Energy Efficiency pays

With buyers willing to pay more for efficient homes, using H+H Celcon Blocks Solar Grade for wall building makes more sense than ever.

Energy efficiency is the name of the game as homebuyers now rate it as one of the most desirable features of a prospective home, according to a recent report from Santander.

Having an efficient home has now eclipsed trends that emerged throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the desire for a bigger garden or home office, as well traditionally sought after features like off-street parking.

In the study, estate agents also reported that buyers are paying an average of 15.5% more for a home that meets high energy efficiency standards, with over one third reporting that buyers will pay a 20% premium in their area.

While rising energy costs certainly factor into the result, the research suggests this is an indication of shifting attitudes towards low carbon living. Over half of estate agents surveyed attributed this new behaviour, at least partly, to an increasing awareness of sustainability and climate change issues.

For most homebuyers, understanding the energy efficiency of a prospective new home will be done via energy rating systems like EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates). Installing new technologies like PV panels and air source heat pumps will of course impact these ratings. But, do you know what else has a major influence on a dwelling’s EPC rating? The building fabric.

Yes, one of the most effective and consistent ways of keeping energy usage down is by having a thermally efficient building envelope. So, for housebuilders looking to reap the benefits of this ‘Green Premium’, they need to be taking a fabric first approach.

The significance of this has become even more apparent in the 2021 update to the Part L of the building regulations. The changes placed an increased emphasis on building fabric performance and ensuring the precise construction of thermal bridges and junctions.

As better insulation and more efficient heating systems are built into the design of new homes, heat loss from the building envelope becomes increasingly significant in contributing to the overall heat lost from a building. Therefore, getting energy efficiency right in the building fabric is key.

Any H+H aircrete product possesses impressive thermal qualities and can achieve excellent airtightness when used in wall building. H+H Solar Grade Blocks take efficiency even further however, having been specially engineered to offer enhanced thermal performance over our standard grade aircrete products.

H+H Solar Grade Blocks have a thermal conductivity of 0.11 W/mK and compressive strength of 2.9N/mm2, making them ideal for achieving ultra-low wall U-values in one or two storey dwellings.

Last year Eaton Homes used these blocks in an 89-house development in Cheshire to help reduce the U-values in the houses and make them super energy efficient. Specifying these H+H Solar Grade Blocks in particular was part of the housebuilder’s plan to make the homes as desirable as possible, a plan that seemed to work as almost all of the homes were sold before completion.

It's clear that building energy efficient homes pays, and using H+H Solar Grade Blocks is a great way for housebuilders to ensure low carbon living starts with the building fabric.

Find out more here.