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Buying an eco-home

There are a number of options available to you if you decide that you want to live in a more eco-friendly home. You could start from scratch and build your own eco-home, you could retrofit your current home to make it more sustainable, or you could go out there and buy an off-the-peg eco-home. This is the first of a series of posts looking at these options, and starting with buying a ready-built eco-home in the UK.

Worth a mention, although there don’t seem to be any units available for sale at the moment, is BedZed (Beddington Zero Energy Development), the UK’s first large eco-village development. It is located in Wallington in South London and consists of 100 homes, community facilities and workspace for 100 people. Sustainability features include a strong emphasis on roof gardens, sunlight, solar energy, reduction of energy consumption and waste water recycling.

Great Bow Yard is a 12-home development by South West Eco-homes situated in the town of Langport, about an hour from Bristol and three hours from London. Many of the units have already been sold, but there are still three 3-bedrooms homes available at a price of £249,950 each. The South West Eco-homes website has more information about the homes. Green features include the use of sustainable materials and insulation made from recycled paper. Profits from the sale of the properties go to a sustainable-development education trust.

The Sherwood Energy Village is located on the site of the old Ollerton Colliery in Nottinghamshire. Homes are being built to achieve Eco-Homes Excellent rating as a minimum. The aim is to provide attractive homes with reduced energy costs, water efficiency, community spirit and a safe environment where shops and services are within walking distance. When completed the SEVille development will be made up of 196 homes. To find out more about available plots contact: or telephone +44 (0) 1623 860 222.

The Wintles is the first project by Living Villages located in Bishops Castle, Shropshire. Eco-friendly features of the homes include water recycling, triple-glazing, solar water heating and super-insulated timber frames. There is an emphasis on community living and inhabitants share woodland, orchards and gardens. The first phase of 14 houses was completed in 2005 and are all occupied, however the development will eventually include 40 dwellings. You can email Living Villages to find out about the availability of homes. Prices start from £299,000.

Countryside Properties has been recognised by the World Wildlife Fund as the leading housebuilder for its outstanding contribution towards sustainable development, and its newest development, Accordia, is an eco-friendly development of 379 apartments and townhouse just a mile from the Cambridge city centre. Homes are designed to include green roofs for insulation and to reduce rainwater runoff, at least A-rated kitchen appliances, storage space for bicycles and cycle paths throughout the development. There are still some 5-bedroom homes available from £960,000.

Earthship Brighton is a development of sixteen one- and two-bedroom eco-friendly homes being built in Brighton, East Sussex. Earthships are built from used tyres and post-consumer waste and are designed to be self-sufficient in terms of energy and water. These homes are expected to go on sale at a price of

Green Moves is an online estate agent specialising in environmentally friendly homes. They list homes for sale with higher than average levels of insulation, homes built from sustainable natural materials, those with solar thermal hot water systems, PV panels for electricity, woodfired central heating systems, rainwater harvesting for flushing the toilet, and other eco-friendly features. At Green Moves you can find homes for sale in some of the developments listed above and others.

Keep an eye out for our feature post on retrofitting your home for sustainability, coming soon.

Image: The Wintles, Bishops Castle, Shropshire.