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The rise of eco-friendly construction:

Posted: 23rd March 2016

Every year, the RIBA awards celebrate innovation and excellence in British construction. As part of this, Britain's best and impressive structures are short-listed for the main award, with this year representing the 50th anniversary of the ceremony.

While last year's awards drew criticism for the conservative nature of the short-list and the lack of truly inspiration structures, it cannot be denied that this annual event offers a unique insight into real estate trends. 2015 marked the small-scale return of Brutalist architecture, while it also reinforced the influence of sustainable and eco-friendly construction in the modern age.

Why eco-friendly construction will stand the test of time

If there is one trend that we expect to remain dominant during the next 12 months, it is the popularity of eco-friendly construction. There are many different elements of this diverse market sector, from’s sliding gates to sustainable building materials and furnishings. Such diversity nature is driven by demand and innovation, as home-owners become increasingly informed about the benefits of an eco-friendly lifestyle.

This includes the fiscal benefits of an Eco-friendly lifestyle, which can drive a lower carbon footprint and huge savings in 2016. While historical awareness campaigns focused on the environmental benefits of sustainable construction, home-owners now understand that the use of energy efficient materials and eco-friendly building materials can reduce bills and energy consumption over time. The best example of this is solar panel installation, which often repays a home-owner's investment within five to seven years and delivers an annual profit beyond this point.

In fact, it is only the cost of such technology that has deterred customers from making such an investment in recent times. This is fast changing, however, as the government offers greater financial incentives to eco-friendly and solar powered homes and the initial cost of manufacturing this hardware continues to fall. This will gradually cause the retail price to decrease, making eco-friendly innovations more accessible to home-owners over the course of the next five years.

The Future for eco-friendly construction

This is a trend that many innovations have followed in the modern age, from smartphone technology to other mobile devices. As technology becomes more familiar and accessible, it also becomes more affordable to develop and these savings are often shared with customers. Along with government initiatives and the long-term savings available through eco-friendly design and construction, this will continue to make a compelling and practical argument for sustainability in the future.

In terms of understanding how far this market sector has come, this year will see the Chatham Borough Environmental Commission sponsor its inaugural contest to find the UKs' most eco-friendly house of 2016. This will provide further rewards and incentives to home-owners who follow environmentally-friendly practices, while it also recognises sustainable construction in the UK. If such momentum and awareness continues, we can expect eco-friendly construction to become an even more dominant feature of the British landscape over the course of the next decade.

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