Building and Eco Home 7 things you need to Consider

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Climate change is having a huge impact on our daily lives. But with the situation only speculated to get worse, the good news is that market forces are acting on the issue.

Building an eco-friendly home is one of the best ways you can do your bit to combat climate change, and it’s more popular than ever. Aside from the obvious environmental benefits, building a sustainable home will also significantly cut your utility costs and improve your way of life.

But before you start looking for structural engineer services in London, there are some things you need to think about first.

1. Regulations

Before you take the first step to turning that pipe dream of an eco-home into a reality, you need to be aware that you will have to abide by certain regulations. This depends on the type of eco-friendly home you want to build, from one that is simply environmentally friendly to one which is rated carbon-zero. So make sure you and your building team know your objectives at the outset.

Once you have that in place, you know whether you need to meet regulations governed by the Code for Sustainable Homes, which takes a broader view of a house’s environmental impact, PassivHaus, an international regulations body which is concerned with low-energy building design, or one of the other national, regional and global standards (this will be outlined in your planning permission).

 

2. Size and cost

Having an idea of your budget will give you an idea of plot and how big you can go, but unlike regular builds, you may find building an eco-home means spending a little more upfront to equip your home with the most eco-friendly resources and heating solutions.

While it’s only natural that you will want enough room to comfortably house your family and belongings, a common mistake is building your eco-home too big. Not only does additional, unused space mean you need to spend more on building materials, you also need to heat it. Instead, intelligent, sustainable home designs utilise every possible ounce of space, an added benefit for those building an eco-home in London where square footage is limited.

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3. Location

Location is pivotal to building an eco-friendly home. Not only do you need to be able to make full use of the resources available to you but you need to think about how your home will affect the environment, avoiding areas prone to flooding (ask your architect to carry out a flood risk assessment).

Of course, the orientation of your home is key to making the most effective use of energy, and one principle of the PassivHaus Standard is to eliminate high, direct sunlight from coming into your building with the use of architectural constructs such as cantilevers, while permitting low-lying sun entry in winter. Similar green architectural techniques relate to using the elements, such as prevailing wind direction, to cool your home in summer.

Planning for a flat or domed roof with a roof garden complete with flowers and grass can help insulate your home and enable it to better fit in with the local environment while supporting natural ecosystems. It’s also important to consider the distance between your home and workplace or shops, so you can evaluate the impact on your carbon footprint.

4. Building materials

This doesn’t just govern how energy-efficient your building materials are but the environmental impact they have, both at the time of sourcing and while in situ in your home. That means your main construction materials shouldn’t leach chemicals into the surrounding environment, which makes sustainable natural resources a preferred option.

Some of the most insulating materials used in eco-home are cellulose, sheep’s wool, straw and clay. While these are both warm and renewable, other homes have used materials such as concrete (even mixed with hemp or other natural fibres) and recycled plastic or steel. Even if a resource is produced under intensive methods, it may still provide exceptional insulating purposes that means it is covered by your chosen eco standards.

Wood that is FSC certified timber or reclaimed (such as railway sleepers) can also be used in construction or cladding to improve thermal efficiency, while using plenty of strong and sustainable wood such as bamboo within the home’s interior can also keep your eco-home climate controlled.

5. Eco inside and out

Taking a green approach means more than just the materials you use to build it with; it means looking inward too. Instead of wasteful wall radiators, underfloor heating is much more economical and can be powered by solar power and recycled water.

You can also replace all single-glazed windows with double or triple-glazed windows (particularly to meet PassivHaus Standards) and have your windows wood-framed; not only does this have a lower carbon footprint but it is an excellent insulator compared to UPVC and can shrink your bills considerably.

In line with the Code for Sustainable Homes, your architectural designer will be able to look at how water is used in your home, developing clever ways to repurpose surface water run-off in and around your home to eliminate waste and flooding.

6. Energy use

How you will keep your home functioning is a crucial decision. Thankfully, the best options for the environment often have an even better pay off when it comes to your pocket. Government-backed solar power incentives make it easier and cheaper to kit out your home with self-sufficient heating, and if you install them in the best location to maximise sunlight, you can sell any excess back to the National Grid. Other ways to generate energy include utilising wind power and heating or cooling your home with a heat pump.

7. Modern design methods

There are plenty of DIY eco-home build opportunities out there, but to make your home fit for purpose it’s best to enlist the help of professionals who have the traditional and not-so-traditional tools of the trade. Crucial in making the most of your modern sustainable build is Building Information Modelling and Computer-aided Design.

Architectectural Designers can use CAD drawings to give you an accurate idea of your finished home before it’s finalised, so you can make tweaks before work starts and save yourself hassle and money if flaws, miscalculations or inefficiencies are found. Meanwhile, BIM can accurately plan out the full lifecycle of an eco-friendly home from design to build and end-use, calculating the exact quantities of materials required, streamlining use and logistics, and even identifying energy inefficiencies to ensure the build is sustainable.

Invest in the future of home design

Building an eco-home isn’t just an investment in your future, but the future of the planet. Although the effort and money involved in building an eco-friendly home may be more than building a conventional home at first, the realities of enjoying a sustainable lifestyle will actually save you energy and money over time. So, plan and build your eco-home today with AC Design Solutions and enjoy the full benefits. Contact us to discuss everything from building regulations services in London to BIM architecture London wide.

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After requiring a few quotes from several structural engineers i found that ac design to be the more communal and more competitive than other structural engineers on the market.After paying for my plans, I received my plans within a few days from payment. Plans seem to be very professional and as im not a builder i assume they look fairly easy to follow.But all seems vey good and good detail.It was a pleasure to work along side a professional designer and there was great communication from both parties from the start..Would definitely recommend this company and will deal with them in the near future if it comes to it......5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Excellent....
Robert Bage
Robert Bage
16:47 10 Aug 20
Zaeem was on time for our appointment and all through everyone has been professional. I will recommend ac-design-solutions anytime.
derin adesida
derin adesida
16:52 05 Aug 20
Fantastic service, fast, reliable and excellent communication. My repeat business will be given without hesitation. Glad I found AC Design Solutions. Thank you!!
Adam James
Adam James
18:53 01 Aug 20
We highly recommend AC Design Solutions who we used to design our 2 storey extension in a conservation area. We had looked at their previous work and spoken to neighbours who had previously used their services. As we live in a conservation area we wanted to hire someone who would not only understand the local requirements and regulations but also someone that had the experience and off course was reasonably priced.From first contact to final approval stage, Zaeem was extremely helpful and always made himself available to us.We highly recommend AC Design Solutions for any off your architectural planning and design requirements.
Waqar Asghar
Waqar Asghar
22:42 27 Jul 20
Prompt response and service. Would recommend. Thanks
Aysha Powell
Aysha Powell
10:28 21 Jul 20
Andrei Marin
Andrei Marin
13:26 15 Jul 20
AC Design were very quick in responding to my request, doing the inspection and deliver the report.I also found the pricing very affordable.
Daniel Malmvarn
Daniel Malmvarn
09:52 10 Jul 20
Dealt with Zubear with a couple of queries during house renovations, and he provided a very swift and professional service at a very reasonable price.
Lee Bright
Lee Bright
12:34 07 Jul 20
Very efficient, answered my query straight away
David Howard
David Howard
10:36 02 Jul 20
AC Design Solitons Ltd were introduced to us by our charter surveyors. We have used their service a few times now. Their work is of a very good standard and Mr Zaeem Chaudhry is very cooperative and understanding. There were no hidden extra charges and everything was done very professionally, at the same time with a personal touch. We had no issues in contacting Azeem. He produced our Drawings literally with in twenty four hours when we needed them quick. We have been very happy with their work, thecthe and their response. Being in the propeerty Managment we definatly be using their services frequently and would recommend them strongly.
durdana shakir
durdana shakir
09:51 25 Jun 20
We used AC Design Solutions for both our structural calculations and building regulation drawings.Both Zubear and Zaeem were super responsive and super efficient, which impressed us greatly. They were always happy to chat, provide more detail and go through any key concerns with us. We would 100% recommend. They are very good value for money and we have so far had such a positive experience with them.
Sanjay Raja
Sanjay Raja
09:57 23 May 20
Very good friendly customer service, the experienced architect help me take out a B2 license
Hider Same
Hider Same
18:37 05 May 20
AC- Designs are a very professional and efficient company. Very good value for money. Certainly recommend to friends and family. AC-designs got us planning passed for 3 apartments against very toxic neighbours. I am also using the services of AC Designs to extend our present house and then to convert into 3 apartments.
Meb Akhtar
Meb Akhtar
16:13 05 May 20
Professional company, pleasure do deal with, top quality service, thank you
Ftt Y4
Ftt Y4
16:10 05 May 20
These guys have been brilliant to work with. They were prompt with any questions I had (as it's my first planning permission application) and took care of business. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process of working with them and highly recommend them to anyone! I certainly will be referring them to friends, family and colleagues. Thank you guys, smashing job!
Manu K
Manu K
21:02 21 Apr 20
We cannot recommend AC Design Solutions highly enough. They are very knowledgeable and highly skilled in their areas of expertise. We had drawings, structural engineering calculations and party wall work all done by them. They were one of the most competitive companies that we got estimates from, and we were a little worried that they wouldn’t be up to the mark at such competitive rates, but we needn’t have been worried. We were surprisingly astounded. Their professionalism, prompt actions and prompt responses on top of being approachable and down to earth is hard to find. I will definitely be using them again.There should be more companies like them that put the customers needs first. They were really good with understanding customers needs and requirements, and go that extra mile for customer satisfaction. I will be giving them some more planning work and aim to keep them for our other projects as and when they come up. I almost want to keep them just for my work, but credit where credit is due, and I would highly recommend using them. We found AC design solutions easy to work with, even though contact with us has been difficult due to our working hours, they worked around our times which helped so much, and made the process so much easier and painless. You can almost give them something and let them run with it, they will touch base with you as and when required and keep you informed all along the process, which gives you comfort in knowing what’s happening at every stage. Although they are a young company, they will go very far, and we wish them the very best. They are hard working and good at what they do, and deserve a good review for the work they have done for us. We would like to express a special thank you to both Zubear and Zaeem for the hard work they put into our project, and for going that extra mile for full customer satisfaction. They are a good one stop shop to cover a lot of your needs during a building project, be it a small residential or large commercial, they can actually do it all which comes in handy with one point of contact, and not dealing with a separate person for this and a separate person for that. It’s all about the one stop shop which they cater to. Good luck with your project, and we would recommend using AC Design Solutions to help as building projects can get stressful, and they just help make the whole process a lot easier.
Vin
Vin
18:28 19 Feb 20
I have been dealing with AC Design for party wall agreement and i would recommend to anyone. Quick response even I sent emails over the weekend. Very professional and friendly team especially Zubear and Zaeem. Thank you again for everything.
dariusz wadowski
dariusz wadowski
21:53 12 Feb 20
Helped us with a very difficult and extensive alterations application with. I never had to worry because I always felt I was in good hands. Thank you.
Veronica Martins
Veronica Martins
09:41 26 Jan 20
Ac design solutions Ltd are a team of dedicated professionals. Zaeems outstanding knowledge of construction along with planning laws are amazing.Zaeem understood our requirements and delivered accordingly in fact he came out a few times without hesitation to advise and deliver accordingly, enabling us to move forward with the project.We would highly recommend AC Design Solutions Ltd to anyone looking to build.
Candy Zone
Candy Zone
13:46 21 Jan 20
I recently dealt with AC Design Solution to carry out my Party Wall agreement. I was very impressed with the level of service I received. All correspondences were dealt with promptly and was kept informed all along the process.I would definatley be using their services again and have already recommended them.
Anil Vekaria
Anil Vekaria
12:14 21 Jan 20
I have been dealing with AC Design solutions over two years now. The team is friendly and cooperative, they are committed to excellent quality and delivering on time.
Firas Awad
Firas Awad
17:32 14 Jan 20
Good company and very reliable, time very good and quality excellent.. we are builders so we will always recommend them ..
Romeo Popescu
Romeo Popescu
08:35 13 Oct 19
Efficient and professional. We used them as a one stop shop for Party Wall, Discharges, Structural and Building Control drawings. They really know their stuff and have good contacts. They even helped with stuff outside of their scope without any extra cost.
Hassan El-Kassir
Hassan El-Kassir
20:55 22 Aug 19
Needed a Party wall surveyor and AC Design came recommended by a local construction expert. Excellent company. Knowledgeable, experienced, hard working (often out of hours to meet my tight deadline) and friendly. Always available and responsive to my queries. Cost for service extremely competitive. No hesitation in recommending.
Tarique Musa
Tarique Musa
09:07 19 Apr 19
Had a very good experience with Developing drawings and drafting Party wall agreements . Zaeem was always at hand to answer any questions no matter how trivial and expedited a party wall agreement effectively and in a very timely manner. Even our neighbor had a great experience and felt that AC Design were through and professional. Would highly recommend their service.
mustafa rasheed
mustafa rasheed
20:39 10 Apr 19
Zaeem is the cream of the crop in what he does. He takes the time to understand what your needs are and delivers comprehensively on his promises in a timely manner. He is always helpful and he really knows his game.Overall ..EXCEPTIONAL.If you're looking for someone reliable, reachable, and ready to help you trust your gut and go with Zaeem.
Ali Asghar
Ali Asghar
19:46 18 Sep 18
I appointed AC Design Solutions to obtain planning permission for a flat conversion, after having been let down by another architect, who took the money but did not not complete the job.I have been happy with Zaeem's work. I find that I can always get in touch with him and he always tries to resolve problems as soon as possible. He has dealt with Ealing Council Planning Department effectively on many occasions. He completed as many revisions as the Council demanded, even when they were being unreasonable and dragging out the whole process.I find Zaeem professional and conscientious as such I would definitely recommend him in the future.
B Pavlou
B Pavlou
11:09 04 Aug 18
I am really happy with your service. I would recommend to my friends and family.
Vairavappillai Jeganathan
Vairavappillai Jeganathan
22:55 03 Aug 18
Good and speedy service. I would definitely recommend to my friends and family.
Shahina Mendonca
Shahina Mendonca
18:59 03 Aug 18
I found AC Design solutions very friendly, competitive and always available to discuss the project. Great service!
Niraj Chag
Niraj Chag
20:52 04 Jul 18
Great communication, provides us full supports with several existing projects and future projects. Definitely would recommend this company to anyone needs an architect!!
Chris Wang
Chris Wang
17:19 04 Apr 18
I have used their services for my house extension work(inlc design of floor plan, structure plan, planning permission for the extension), I have found them very friendly, helpful and professional. They have guided me very well for all steps during the project, would highly recommend them for their services.
Irfan Munir
Irfan Munir
15:55 06 Oct 17
I employed AC Design Solutions as I saw there previous work and was local to where I currently work. My house is located in the Ealing Borough it is a Semi Detached house. At the time I instructed AC Design Solutions i was getting an idea of what we want. They advised me on the layout of the interior and what would be cost effective. This was my first property and is the very first time I am planning to carry out a project like this. I didn't know any costs to how much things would cost. AC design solutions listened to my ideas and then gave me a break down on the best way to go about doing things and to keep the cost down. They put in plans for a 6 metre extension and a loft conversion which recently obtained approval and I am very happy with the service. I can count on them to do a good job. I have referred them to other families and friends.
Abdul Choudhury
Abdul Choudhury
15:36 17 May 17
Exceptional service, very polite and professional, knew what he was talking about. Guided me through the whole process. Live in Acton and Zaeem drew some plans for a single storey and done building regulations. Could not ask for more the whole process went through very smoothly.The 3 meters extension had uneven floor and had drains running through where the foundation was to be dug. Before employing AC Design Solutions I contacted a few other firms and did my due diligence. When they came no one mentioned to me regarding the issue with the drains and how the trees would affect the build. When AC Design Solutions came around first thing they did is look around the property and noted points for concerns which wereProximity of treesThe drains where the foundation would be dug. Another underlying issue they pulled out on was I had a two storey side extension already built and needed I needed a gable on the side to allow for enough headroom for the staircase. I am really happy with service and have recommended them to friends and family.
M K
M K
12:06 09 May 17
Plan agreed to my vision and passed.
praful kothari
praful kothari
17:55 12 Mar 17
Best work
Gagan Kumar
Gagan Kumar
15:38 03 Mar 17
Great service, drawings were done on time and submitted to council and approved with no issues. Would recommend.
sunny wmz
sunny wmz
21:15 23 Feb 17
gul deep
gul deep
11:43 20 Feb 17
1) Zaeem worked on my house extension and appeal successfully.2) Call out - has been Good3) Approachable and always hear what client say.4) Pricing - Competitive5) I am giving 4 1/2 stars as he is still young & can improve in review the designs with the client before submission. I will give job again to Zaeem for my house planning. ThanksSuresh Karanam
Suresh Babu
Suresh Babu
12:30 19 Feb 17