What is a sustainable house?
‘Sustainability’ isn’t a defined word, but is about maintaining something at a certain rate or level. In sustainable property development, sustainability means that we use less resources, reuse and recycle more things, and build out of materials that aren’t toxic, don’t pollute and ideally, can be de-constructed at the end of their life.
Sustainable Property Development
Construction materials make a crucial difference in sustainable property development. Some materials just cost the planet too much for ethical use, even if they are, on paper, cheaper.
At Living Joy, we prefer to use local suppliers, FSC certified timbers and recyclable, reusable non-toxic materials. We use a lot of glass in our designs, and always think carefully about what type of window, door, glass and glass coating is the most appropriate. For example, the type and colour of the glass that you would use on a south-facing window is very different to a north-facing door.
The majority of our sites are also in ‘in-fill’ locations, meaning that we’re densifying existing areas rather than making cities physically better. From a sustainable property development point of view, medium-density combined with recycling, composting and public transport is a much more sustainable growth model than large, ‘green-fields’ developments on the outskirts of cities.
Plants are critical. Trees and plants have a massive impact on our psyche, and they are the lungs of the planet. Often, we need to remove trees to make way for dwellings, but we do our best to retain as many trees as possible. We also have a policy that we plant five trees for every tree that we cut down.
As we grow and evolve, and as new technology becomes more accessible and affordable, we will continue to evolve our concept what sustainable property development is, and our concept of a sustainable house.
Sustainability is an emotive word. We all know that we should be more ‘sustainable’, but often, it feels too hard. Many of us think that sustainability means making sacrifices, and we quash our guilt about doing the ‘wrong’ thing because we feel like we can never do enough.
We know that the world population is growing exponentially, and that western lifestyles are wasteful. Our houses keep getting bigger, but our baseline levels of happiness are decreasing. The more we have, the more we want, and the less happy we are. Many of us are living lives of convenience without living lives with a conscience, and that downward spiral means that we keep covering up the pain with ‘stuff’.
Imagine, however, that you can live a life full of meaning. Imagine that you can do good whilst feeling good, and the more good you do, the more good you want to do. Imagine waking up feeling inspired and energised, knowing that you are part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Imagine that you are an inspiration to many.
With our ethical investment opportunities, you can.