Green mortgages are one of the mechanisms being put in place to encourage the construction or rehabilitation of energy-efficient housing. Thanks to the European Directive, which obliges all new buildings to be almost zero consumption by 2020, the next few years present themselves as the right moment to opt for sustainable housing, which can save 80% in energy consumption and 40% in water.
The commitment to energy efficiency in construction is capturing the attention of various sectors. Among them, real estate. Just a few years ago came what is known as “green mortgages”, a type of financing that favors the purchase, construction or rehabilitation of energy-efficient housing (especially those corresponding to ratings A, B or C) through preferential conditions: more attractive interest rates, lower differentials, lower fees, less stringent linkage requirements …
Although its supply and demand in Spain is still very incipient, as only a few entities grant them and the new mortgage regulations do not yet regulate them, this product is helping to raise environmental awareness in the context of housing. According to experts in the sector, encouraging the purchase, rehabilitation and construction of this type of property, not only would help reduce average household spending by more than 4,000 euros, it would also greatly reduce pollution from the construction sector, estimated at 40%.
If we add to this the European regulations already in force, which require that from 2020 that all new buildings be built under the standards of “almost zero” energy consumption, the next few years are presented as the right time for the construction of sustainable housing. On the occasion of World Environment Day (5 June), the experts at Sto analyse its advantages:
– Higher appraisal value, lower consumption and more savings. A property that meets optimum efficiency standards guarantees energy consumption up to 80% lower than traditional housing, reduces water demand by 40%, reduces operating and maintenance costs by 7%-8% and increases the appraisal value for the quality of its construction up to 25% in the case of rehabilitation.
– Optimum thermal enclosure and no air leaks. They consist of a thermal enclosure arranged with thermal insulation, either through SATE or ventilated façade, and high performance carpentries (double glazed windows, air chamber and glasses with low emissions).
– Efficient installations: heating, lighting and domotics. As far as heating is concerned, there are several alternatives: biomass boilers, condensation boilers, air-water heat pumps, underfloor heating… As far as lighting is concerned, the main bet is the use of low consumption elements. To these components are usually added low consumption household appliances and home automation packages that allow automation in the use of facilities.
– Energy self-sufficiency and water saving systems. Self-sufficiency is one of its main characteristics, and is achieved through the placement of photovoltaic panels, wind generators, solar collectors, geothermal heat pumps, and so on. As far as water saving is concerned, some systems that are usually used are aerators on taps that limit the outflow, mixer taps, double flush toilets, shower and washbasin water reuse systems…
– Simple and compact shapes and proper orientation. The design determines a large part of the thermal and acoustic behaviour of a building. Therefore, this type of housing usually opt for simple and compact forms, as energy losses occur mainly through the facades and roofs. Another important aspect is orientation: in cold climates, you will face south, and in warm climates you will take advantage of shadows from trees or other buildings to keep the sun’s rays at bay. Other elements such as well dimensioned and localized windows, mechanisms to avoid glare or undesirable heat gains, systems to take advantage of natural light, etc., are also often added.
– Different ventilation that guarantees indoor air quality. To achieve this, they have a mechanical or natural ventilation system that allows them to maintain a breathable and fresh indoor environment, providing clean air, on the one hand, and eliminating the pollutants generated in situ, on the other.
– Respectful materials throughout their useful life. Beyond their natural origin, the materials used have a reduced environmental impact from their production, transport, use and elimination. In the case of refurbishments, part or all of the elements that make up the original construction (foundations, façade walls, partitions, etc.) are used or reuse is chosen.