Sustainable group Sponge reveals key tips for general public interested in purchasing an eco-property

"The Buyer's Guide To A Greener Home" is the latest guide aimed at making environmentally friendly house-purchasing easy for the general public.

Launched by Sponge at London's Living Room, City Hall this week, the guide is described by lead author and Sponge Director Chani Leahong as filling "an information gap. We wanted to give homebuyers the confidence and the tools to find a greener, more sustainable home".

The guide comprises a list of key questions that can be asked to any seller or estate agent so that house-hunters will know how a property performs environmentally, socially, and economically. It also highlights any improvements that can be made.

The guide itself can be downloaded in pdf form from our sidebar. Alternatively, you can also check out the six main tips Sponge give below.

Sponge's tips

  • Try and arrange the ability to adjust the heating in each individual room of your house separately. This will save you wasting money and energy in a room you don’t use.
  • Treat manufacturer claims about the amount of energy you will get from renewables with caution. Ask them for “measured performance information”, as this can give you a realistic idea of the amount of energy a system can generate.
  • Grant are readily available to help introduce renewables to your home.
  • When moving into a block of flats, find out if there’s a Tenants and Residents Association. This is a great way to have a say in what goes on in your local estate.
  • Heavyweight materials like bricks and concrete have a good thermal mass. This helps them stop the home from cooling down or heating up too quickly.
  • Sticking to recycled materials can reduce environmental impact. Kitchen units and carpets in particular can be made from recycled materials.