Can you climate proof your home?

Can you climate proof your home?

We look at what homeowners can do to climate-proof their home in the face of increasing concerns over global warming.

Climate change and the harmful effects of global warming have become increasing concerns for governments and people the world over in recent years.
 
But will climate-proof homes be needed to deal with our changing planet? Research predicts that winters in Jersey will be up to 23% wetter and summers 24% drier in years to come, leading to possible problems surrounding flooding and droughts.
 
To give people an insight into the sort of homes that might be needed by the year 2100 in order to adapt to climate change, interiors specialists Hillarys have designed the Climate Proof House.
 
What are the key features of a climate-proof house?
 
Characteristics that could help to protect homes of the future include green roofs, water-resistant doors and windows, rainwater harvesting, cement floors, raised electrical sockets and sun-shielding window dressings.
 
New homes could be built with global warming in mind and existing stock could be modified and adapted to become more resistant to an increase in extreme weather.
 
As well as the above features, we take a look at a few other ways in which homes could be protected…
 
Passive cooling measures
 
Firstly, you might ask what a passive cooling measure is. Well, put simply, it's a measure that requires little to no energy consumption and therefore acts as a practical way to tackle overheating.
 
Cheap options include night purging, where you keep windows closed during the day and open them at night to flush out warm air, and ceiling fans.
 
Green Spaces                      
 
One of the most simple and cost-effective ways you can protect your home against the effects of climate change is by making the most of your green space, whether it's a front, back or side lawn. Lawns are a great – and natural – way to reduce your flood risk. After all, they absorb more water than paving or driveways.
 
Water-efficient appliances
 
Installation of a low-flow shower and ultra-flow flush toilet could save up to 15,000 litres of water per person per year. What's more, water-efficient washing machines are only a fraction more expensive than standard models but they could save approximately 5,000 litres of water per person per year.
 
How much will all this cost?
 
Fortunately, not as much as you might think. Installing a water butt, for instance, could save an estimated 400 litres of water a year as well as curbing energy emissions, and all for the princely sum of just £50. Homeowners who have a water meter installed could reduce their costs by implementing this simple measure.
 
Raising electrical sockets, meanwhile, would likely set you back around £700 (although this varies from household to household). Green roofs and replacing timber floors with concrete are other fairly inexpensive ways of climate proofing your home.
 
A complete retrofit of an existing property might be a bit more out of reach, with installing low-water appliances, relocating electrical goods and replacing windows, doors and frames costing a household around about £10,000. But you needn't carry out all these measures at the same time.
 
You can also look at it like this – if you are hit by flooding or the worst effects of climate change, you're likely to be shelling out more than £10,000 on repairs. So, the high short-term cost could pay you back with interest in the long run.  
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