New research report reveals consumer demand for eco-friendly buildings

Solar panel on a red roof

Almost a third of consumers want homes of the future to be more eco-friendly, according to a new research report published by Eurocell, the manufacturer, distributor and recycler of PVC-U window, door, conservatory and roofline systems.

Eurocell’s ‘The Future Home Report’ draws on the findings of a survey of 1,000 25-40-year olds that either own or rent homes, about design and build considerations for future homes.

When asked about the most appealing design trends they’d want in their home, respondents identified an eco-friendly home (29%), open plan living (24%) as the top two most appealing, with floor to ceiling windows and a minimalist look coming joint third with 23%.

When asked further about their attitudes to eco-friendly building and design, 49% of respondents said they would be more likely to buy or rent an eco-conscious home. However, despite this interest, only 24% said they would be willing to pay more money when buying or renting a property with eco-features.

Overall, 46% of respondents said they would be willing to pay a little bit more in rent or property price if it incorporated their favoured design trends. In addition, 10% said they would pay significantly more.

When asked which top three factors contribute to them feeling good in their own home, respondents identified the amount of natural light (48%), low noise levels (39%) and feeling safe and secure (37%) as the most important. These were closely followed by access to outdoor space (36%), and the design and layout of the home (35%).

The report also includes expert input from architects at leading studios Hawkins Brown, Simpson Haugh and BDP, as well as property developer The High Street Group. It reveals insight into the homes that people hope to live in and current trends in the residential market, as well as identifying five trends that are currently defining the future design of homes:

  1. A more advanced PRS model – PRS buildings are likely to develop over time to be operated more like clubs where renters will have access to facilities across developers’ estates. This model is certainly interesting in the higher value PRS model, with developers in the bigger cities starting to make initial inroads into this market.
  2. Regeneration – regeneration of places is playing a huge part in house building currently. Public and private sector collaboration is seen to be driving this trend. For example, houses being built near new schools to meet an increase in demand for housing around these areas, or housing being built above public hospitals and gyms to utilise the space.
  3. Creating adaptable living spaces – there is increasing interest and demand for adaptable living spaces that cater for the short-term flexibility people need – for instance turning storage space into a bedroom for a weekend or using partitions to split rooms.
  1. Inner vs. outer city living – an emerging trend is the difference betweenrural design which tends to be more restricted and city centre living, which tends to be more innovative. As more and more people start their lives in the city and then move out of the city (taking their preferred design trends with them) it is anticipated that this will eventually evolve what developments in more rural areas look like.
  1. An increase in modular building – the reputational facelift modular building has undergone in the past is leading to growth in the area, with the technique often being cited as a more sustainable way of building due to the use of a controlled environment and waste reduction.

Chris Coxon, head of marketing at Eurocell, commented: “As the UK is currently in the middle of a housing crisis and is seeking to build 300,000 homes a year for the next decade, we wanted to gain insight into the homes that owners and renters want to live in, to provide the construction sector with a resource that will help them shape homes that people desire. The Future Home Report incorporates what homeowners hope to see, with the insight of a team of experts, to provide a balanced whitepaper that can help influence how future homes are designed and built.”

The Future Home Report can be downloaded in full here