With an ever-growing focus on adapting our habits, lifestyles, and even our diets to be more sustainable, and eco-friendly; it is only natural that our homes should follow suit.  After all, if we are aiming to save the planet, why not begin in our own part of the world?

In fact, your next home renovation project could be the ideal opportunity to convert your house into a green home. And contrary to popular belief, the creation of a green home need not be difficult or expensive.

Not sure where to start? Follow these simple steps that guide you towards the ultimate green home renovation:

1. Increase the insulation

Often, the most effective way of ensuring energy efficiency of your home is by reducing the heat lost from it. Upgrading your insulation is therefore the obvious solution.

Insulating your home is a multi-pronged process where everything from the floors, windows, and walls must be considered. This includes solid walls, cavity walls, and especially the loft space. Each of which loses considerable heat throughout the year and requires a different insulation strategy.

Similarly, replacing single-glazed windows with double or triple-glazed ones prevents heat transfer. And though this process may have a high initial cost, these revisions and changes help you to save energy, and money, in the long run.

Increase the insulation

 2. Maximise natural light

The installation of cleverly-placed windows and skylights will allow you to optimise the amount of natural light that enters your home. This strategy, (also known as daylighting), can significantly reduce the use of artificial lighting within your home during the daytime and thereby directly leads to reduced energy usage and lowered utility bills.

Maximise natural light

3. Shift to renewable energy sources

Another wonderful and brilliant use of sunlight is in powering your home. The installation of solar panels to generate electricity has an obvious and dramatic effect on not just your energy bills, but also on your carbon footprint.

This is because, while you reduce your dependency on fuels, you can even take advantage of financial incentives like Feed-In Tariffs (FITs) which allow you to get paid for the energy you produce.

Shift to renewable energy sources

4. Upgrade your heating system

Upgrading your boiler, and switching to energy-efficient heating and cooling systems can literally save you hundreds of pounds a year in energy bills. Not to mention the reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from your home, helping you to make a significant difference in your environmental impact.

Additionally, investing in smart HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems helps manage energy consumption better while preventing unnecessary usage of energy. How? The smart meters enable you to:

  • Keep track of your energy usage in real-time
  • Control the settings of your heating devices
  • Monitor and control the settings in different parts of your home (to prevent energy wastage in unoccupied or unused rooms)

Upgrade your heating system

5. Switch to energy-efficient electrical appliances

Switching out old and energy-draining appliances with energy-efficient alternatives is a sure-fire way of reducing your energy consumption.

Appliances are rated on an A to G scale. So, an A-rated appliance uses significantly less energy than a B or C-rated one. This includes everything from ovens and refrigerators to washing machines and kettles. The size of the appliance also impacts its energy efficiency. So, consider purchasing smaller or mid-sized devices to save on energy bills.

Similarly, LED lights consume up to 75% less energy compared to incandescent light bulbs. Making the change to LEDs is therefore a proven way to increase the energy efficiency of your home.

Switch to energy-efficient electrical appliances

6. Focus on the efficient usage of water

Much like electricity, using water consciously and efficiently makes a big difference in the sustainability of your home.

Some ways to achieve this:

  • Install a rainwater harvesting system. The filtered water collected may be used to water the garden, flush toilets, or fill the washing machine.
  • Opt for water-saving shower heads, low-flow taps and low-flush toilets to help decrease your water and energy usage.

Focus on the efficient usage of water

7. Choose sustainable materials

The building materials used, their source, their environmental impact, and their durability, all have a profound impact on the sustainability of your home.

From the roofing material to cabinets, countertops, floors, and walls, there are numerous options and alternatives that allow you to make your home eco-friendly. Finding the perfect material, is therefore, often simply a matter of research and diligence.

Natural materials such as clay and lime are wonderful options for walls as they are breathable, and allow moisture to escape outside.

Reclaimed wood, bamboo, stone, cork, rubber, or even PlyFix (made from recycled plastic bottles!), are all incredible options for your floors. The final choice then depends on the availability, cost, and aesthetic you seek.

Choose sustainable materials

8. Use eco-friendly paint

Though not nearly as common as it ought to be, environmentally friendly paints are a great way of ensuring the health of your household and the planet.

Free of the toxic chemicals that make up conventional paint products, eco-friendly paints are:

  • Made from raw, organic materials
  • Water soluble, with pigments derived from plants and minerals
  • Non-toxic and degrade without releasing chemical pollutants

All of this make ‘green’ paints the ideal choice for your green home, particularly if you plan on renovating the playrooms and nursery.

Use eco-friendly paint

9. Upcycle!

While a home renovation is usually an ideal opportunity to get rid of clutter and unutilised items, don’t be too quick to dump your old things and purchase new ones. Rethinking, refurbishing, and upcycling old furniture, and even building materials such as tiles, allows you to not just cut down on the waste produced, but also provides wonderful scope for their repurpose.

Shelves from old scaffold boards, coffee tables made from reclaimed wood, and refurbished kitchen cabinets deliver a rustic charm to your interiors without breaking the bank or cramming the already overflowing landfill.


10. Reduce, reuse, recycle

In order to create a truly green home, it is important to consistently match your lifestyle with the message.

It is by no means a fool-proof process, but by constantly questioning your practices, purchases, and choices, it is possible to get closer to the goal of creating a waste-free, energy-efficient home that is the true embodiment of going green.

Reduce, reuse, recycle


A green home is essentially an environmentally sustainable home that is built around energy efficiency, eco-consciousness, reduced wastage, and non-toxicity. This not only cuts down on energy usage but also results in drastic reductions in the cost of utility bills. Quite simply, it creates a win-win-win scenario for your home, the planet, and your wallet.

However, green homes are still far from prevalent. The reason? They are believed to be expensive and impractical. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Your green home renovation is actually an investment towards your future that guarantees to cut cost, wastage, and toxicity from your home. Being an almost perfect reflection of sustainability, green homes are proof that simple ideas can help create big change, all towards the greater good.

Want to save money and the environment at the same time? Contact the energy experts at Good Design and Build today!

We help create specialised solutions to combat high energy consumption while designing the ultimate environmentally-friendly, and energy-efficient green home.

Author: Amol

Amol is an architectural designer and has worked on hundreds of residential projects in London since 2008.Having done his M.Arch from the Glasgow School of Arts he gained valuable experience in London working in the construction industry managing high-end residential projects, before founding Good Design and Build in 2015.You will meet him for initial consultation and work closely with him during all stages of your project