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Sustainability is a theme which involves different aspects of the reality that surrounds us and refers to the essential principle of carrying out responsible actions for the Earth, since non-renewable resources are running out and the ecosystem is in danger due to the overheating of the planet. The concept of sustainability can be applied in architecture to provide quality constructions that guarantee a limited use of resources, a low environmental impact and a high level of well-being for people.

The main advantage of a sustainable architecture is environmental through reduced consumption of energy and emissions into the atmosphere and the use of innovative materials, but it also corresponds to an increasing living comfort created inside the home for the people.

Before continuing, we need to clear up a very important point: a building cannot be labelled as “green” or “sustainable” just because from its façade we see the simple use of solar panels! We must consider sustainability as a whole where its parts involve technical, social and economic processes.

After this premise, let’s focus on the latest key solutions to build an eco-friendly house: a house where beautiful design, comfort and technical performance are developed hand in hand! These innovations meet the needs of the planet and the future generations because their impact are close to zero. Moreover, you will appreciate the economic advantage due to the cut of energy waste in the bills.

Insulation is one of the best first steps to create a greener home that reduces carbon emissions. A great number of alternative materials have been developed to replace the traditional insulators with non-toxic and biodegradable ones.

Ground source heat pumps are an ecological system that exploit a thermal source to heat and cool the home. They are fundamental for a massive decrease in consumption of fossil fuels and to limit polluting emission.

Alternatively, you can install air source heat pumps that extract heat from the outside air with the advantages already mentioned for the ground source heat pumps but an easier installation and a minimal maintenance required.

The maximum goal of an eco-house is energy independence through the self-production of electricity and water resources.

The maximum goal of an eco-house is energy independence through the self-production of electricity and water resources.

Solar panels work with the natural sunlight to produce an alternative form of energy and save consistently the purchase of electricity from traditional suppliers.

Biomass boilers are a green solution because they produce heat and hot water for the house using sustainable sources such as wood pellets or safe wastes from the industries.

One of the latest innovation in this field has been presented by Tesla and it’s Powerwall: a battery storage system that conserves energy and release it in case of need, for example during a blackout or when the sun goes down.

The costs of implant of these solution are becoming more affordable, but UK Government is really sensitive about this topic so it activated the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) to stimulate the spread of renewable and clean technologies for heat production.

These subsidies will help the UK to free itself from dependence on fossil fuels, reducing CO2 emissions, encouraging innovation, creating jobs and growth in new advanced technologies.

To conclude, we should understand sustainable architecture is a cultural approach rather than a branch of traditional architecture, which pushes architects to design and build by minimizing the impact of buildings on human health and the environment.

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