Property Development: How To Construct In An Eco-Friendly Way

published Apr 11, 2023
2 min read

Anyone in the property business will have come across current property owners that have had to fork out thousands of pounds to bring their buildings up to par with new eco-friendly laws. The planet is in danger and things need to change if we are to have any chance of reversing the damage that we have already done. That is why governments are always trying to find new ways to combat these issues. These new changes often come in the form of new laws, and it is your responsibility as a property developer to know how to adhere to these new eco-friendly laws.

The future of our planet depends on how many people react to these laws. So, how do you construct new properties in an eco-friendly way?

Sustainable Property Development

Use Sustainable Materials

The main goal of your building materials is to be able to withstand the elements. In other words, your building materials need to be durable. On top of this, they also need to be recyclable or reusable to fit with sustainability guidelines. That is a tall order for any property developer. You will be happy to hear that there is a long list of sustainable building materials that you can continue to use to get your construction work done. These include:

  • Recycled wood
  • Glass
  • Precast concrete
  • Wool
  • Steel
  • Pant-based foam

As you can imagine, there is a lot that you can get out of these materials. On the flip side, you should also try to avoid any of the following unsustainable building materials.

  • Lead
  • Asbestos
  • Clay
  • Aluminium
  • Reinforced concrete

Check For Wildlife

The main reason to set up a series of newly built properties is to give people a place to live. However, how can you be sure that a species of animal doesn’t already call the area you intend to build a home? Greenery in the UK is often responsible for housing badgers, foxes, hedgehogs, squirrels, and small birds. Therefore, you should try to avoid building property on greenbelt spaces to avoid harming the natural ecosystem. Try to construct your new properties in already built-up areas where possible.

However, you should also be wary of bats in the area when you take this approach. Bats love to find a home inside the darkened rooms of abandoned buildings. That is why you should always carry out a bat survey before you start demolishing old buildings to make room for your new property. Bats are a protected species in the UK, and this status extends to all forms of bat and their breeding sites. This means that you can be punished by the law for disturbing their living space or intentionally harming the creatures.

Use Effective Insulation

One of the biggest ways that you can contribute to climate change as an average person is by heating your home. The gas burned whenever you turn the heating on emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is why property developers need to rethink how they keep their properties warm. The answer is effectively insulating these properties.

The more insulated your walls, the less chance there is of heat escaping. Also, proper foam insulation doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide when keeping your home warm. Just avoid using asbestos as insulation in your wall cavities, and you should be fine.

Use A Tree Survey

Of course, any new property will benefit from being surrounded by trees. Trees can greatly reduce a property’s carbon footprint as they convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and release it into the air through photosynthesis. However, not all trees can be beneficial to your property.

The growth of something as big as a tree can be extensive and unpredictable. As such, these far-reaching roots can find their way underneath your property and cause foundation damage like subsidence. You don’t want to have to contend with the cost of this damage in the future, but you also do not want to cut down these oxygen-producing lifeforms. Trees on a property area can raise its value, after all. So, what are you to do?

A tree survey can identify the trees in an area that could pose a problem to any new structure that is built upon the area. This means that you can use the results of this survey to determine which trees you should remove before building and which ones can stay on your new eco-friendly building site.

Think Bike

While the homestead can be a large contributing factor toward climate change, vehicle use is also something that contributes hugely toward carbon emissions. The fuel burned in a car engine turns into carbon dioxide which is then belched into the air from the exhaust pipe. As such, people in the UK are being encouraged to ditch their cars in favour of more eco-friendly modes of travel. That is where you come in.

A person cannot walk or cycle efficiently if their route is blocked by a new structure. That is why new property developers need to think about walkers and cyclists when building in an established area. Try not to obstruct footpaths or cycle lanes when you draw up your plans so that more people have a reason to ditch their cars.

Dispose Of Your Waste Properly

It is unlikely that you are going to use all the materials that arrive at your building site. In fact, property development is one of the biggest contributors to excess waste in the country.

To be eco-friendly, it is important that you dispose of this waste correctly. You should have no trouble if you are already working with recyclable materials. It also helps to dispose of your waste in the appropriate waste management sites instead of disposing of it somewhere that it is burnt or can harm any wildlife.


Building new property that is eco-friendly gets easier if you pay attention to what is happening on the news. It also helps to keep tabs on what other sustainable building sites are doing.